Latest Research News on Animal Husbandry : Dec 2020

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Latest Research News on Animal Husbandry : Dec 2020

December 2, 2020 AGRICULTURE 0

Greenhouse gas abatement strategies for animal husbandry

Agriculture contributes significantly to the anthropogenic emissions of non-CO2 greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide. In this paper, a review is presented of the agriculture related sources of methane and nitrous oxide, and of the main strategies for mitigation. The rumen is the most important source of methane production, especially in cattle husbandry. Less, but still substantial, amounts of methane are produced from cattle manures. In pig and poultry husbandry, most methane originates from manures. The main sources of nitrous oxide are: nitrogen fertilisers, land applied animal manure, and urine deposited by grazing animals. Most effective mitigation strategies for methane comprise a source approach, i.e. changing animals’ diets towards greater efficiencies. Methane emissions, however, can also be effectively reduced by optimal use of the gas produced from manures, e.g. for energy production. Frequent and complete manure removal from animal housing, combined with on-farm biogas production is an example of an integrated on-farm solution. Reduced fertiliser nitrogen input, optimal fertiliser form, adding nitrification inhibitors, land drainage management, and reduced land compaction by restricted grazing are the best ways to mitigate nitrous oxide emissions from farm land, whereas, management of bedding material and solid manure reduce nitrous oxide emissions from housing and storage. Other than for methane, mitigation measures for nitrous oxide interact with other important environmental issues, like reduction of nitrate leaching and ammonia emission. Mitigation strategies for reduction of the greenhouse gases should also minimize pollution swapping. [1]

Consumer Attitudes Towards the Development of Animal-Friendly Husbandry Systems

Recent policy developments in the area of livestock husbandry have suggested that, from the perspective of optimizing animal welfare, new animal husbandry systems should be developed that provide opportunities for livestock animals to be raised in environments where they are permitted to engage in “natural behavior.” It is not known whether consumers regard animal husbandry issues as important, and whether they differentiate between animal husbandry and other animal welfare issues. The responsibility for the development of such systems is allocated jointly between farmers, regulators, different actors in the food chain, and consumers. This research focuses on understanding consumer attitudes and preferences regarding the development and introduction of such systems, to ensure that they are acceptable to consumers as well as producers, regulators, and scientists. Consumer perceptions of animal welfare and animal husbandry practices were evaluated using quantitative consumer survey, which focused on two animal husbandry issues – farmed pigs and farmed fish. Following pilot work, 1000 representative Dutch consumers were sampled about their attitudes to either pig or fish husbandry. The results indicated that consumers think about animal welfare in terms of two broad categories related to their health and living environment, but do not think about welfare issues at a more detailed level. Greater concern was expressed about the welfare of pigs compared to fish. Consumer trust in labeling also emerged as an important issue, since consumers need to trust different food chain actors with responsibility for promoting animal welfare, and are reluctant to consider the details of animal husbandry systems. As a consequence, a transparent, enforceable, and traceable monitoring system for animal welfare friendly products is likely to be important for consumers. [2]

Mitigating Human Effects on European Biodiversity through Traditional Animal Husbandry

Livestock grazing (without modern fertilizers), mowing, and other traditional methods of animal husbandry are used in Europe for managing human‐made habitats such as seminatural grasslands. From a review of essential literature, I hypothesize that traditional animal husbandry partially compensates for the loss of natural processes that have been suppressed by humans. There is indirect evidence that livestock grazing and mowing have made possible the continued existence of many species threatened by the human overkill of megaherbivores and other large herbivores. Many species that were dependent on natural fires and floods may have benefited from grazing and mowing, which also may be effective tools for mitigating the negative effects of eutrophication. As partial surrogates, traditional grazing and mowing have obscured the importance of natural disturbances to European biodiversity. Thus, the end of traditional animal husbandry, together with the suppression of natural disturbances, may cause even more adverse effects to biodiversity than is generally recognized. [3]

Extent of Adoption of Improved Animal Husbandry Practices by Dairy Farmers of Morar Block in Gwalior District

Recent advances in animal husbandry technologies have demonstrated potential for maximization of milk productivity and all these requires adoption of improved technologies. The present study was conducted to assess the extent of adoption of improved animal husbandry practices by dairy farmers of Morar Block in Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh. Simple random sampling method was used to select 120 dairy farmers as respondents. The findings revealed that reproductive practices like artificial insemination at proper time of heat with semen of good bull was regularly adopted by 80.00 per cent of the dairy farmers, regarding nutritional practices provision of ad libitum clean and fresh water was regularly adopted by 85.00 per cent of dairy farmers, washing of hands and udder before milking was the management practices regularly adopted by 96.67 per cent of the farmers. To control disease, prompt reporting of outbreak of a contagious disease to the local veterinarian was adopted by 76.67 per cent of the dairy farmers. Marketing practice like obtaining loans from nationalised banks instead of private money lender to purchase inputs for dairy farming was continuously adopted by 63.34 per cent of the farmers. The final study reveals that 58.33 per cent of the respondents had medium level of adoption of improved animal husbandry practices. [4]

Contribution of Animal Husbandry to Indian Economy, Its Characteristics and Future: A Review

Livestock has played an indispensable role in the Indian economy. Animal husbandry is culturally and economically integrated into the society. Livestock is a source of protein, livelihood and draught power. Diverse enterprises like Apiculture, Sericulture, and Pisciculture have been reared traditionally for many years. Indigenous stock has higher resistant to diseases and can better adapt to climate change. They act as a buffer to crop failure and sudden monetary losses. Rearing a wide variety of animals like yaks, camels and Mithun apart from cattle, sheep and goat are unique characteristics of animal husbandry in India. Technological backwardness, financial constraints, and inadequate veterinary services are few issues that hinder the progress in the sector. [5]


[1] Monteny, G.J., Bannink, A. and Chadwick, D., 2006. Greenhouse gas abatement strategies for animal husbandry. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 112(2-3), pp.163-170.

[2] Frewer, L.J., Kole, A., Van De Kroon, S.M.A. and De Lauwere, C., 2005. Consumer attitudes towards the development of animal-friendly husbandry systems. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 18(4), pp.345-367.

[3] Pykälä, J., 2000. Mitigating human effects on European biodiversity through traditional animal husbandry. Conservation Biology, 14(3), pp.705-712.

[4] Meena, N., Badodiya, S. K. and Biam, K. (2017) “Extent of Adoption of Improved Animal Husbandry Practices by Dairy Farmers of Morar Block in Gwalior District”, Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 16(4), pp. 1-8. doi: 10.9734/AJAEES/2017/32985.

[5] Shanmathy, M., Gopi, M. and Beulah, P. (2018) “Contribution of Animal Husbandry to Indian Economy, Its Characteristics and Future: A Review”, Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, 27(1), pp. 1-7. doi: 10.9734/AJAEES/2018/43337.


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