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Type: Journal article
Title: Lessons learned from past experience with intensive livestock management systems
Author: Cronin, G.
Rault, J.
Glatz, P.
Citation: OIE Revue Scientifique et Technique, 2014; 33(1):139-151
Publisher: International Office of Epizootics
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 0253-1933
Statement of
G.M. Cronin, J.–L. Rault & P.C. Glatz
Abstract: The main impetus for 'modern' intensive animal production occurred after the Second World War, when Western governments developed policies to increase the availability of cheap, safe food for their populations. Livestock benefit under intensive husbandry by protection from environmental extremes and predators, and better nutritional and health management. Nevertheless, there are costs to the animal, such as impaired social behaviour, limited choice of living environment or pen mates, poor environmental stimulation and behavioural restrictions. The rapid progress in genetic selection of production traits has also, in some cases, adversely affected welfare by creating anatomical and metabolic problems. Above all, the intensively housed animal is heavily reliant on the stockperson and, therefore, inadequate care and husbandry practices by the stockperson may be the largest welfare risk. In a future in which the food supply may be limited as the world's population grows and land availability shrinks, intensive animal production is likely to expand. At the same time, ethical considerations surrounding intensive farming practices may also become more prominent. Novel technologies provide the opportunity to enhance both the productivity and welfare of intensively kept animals. Developing countries are also establishing more intensive commercial systems to meet their growing need for animal protein. Intensive livestock production in such countries has the potential for major expansion, particularly if such developments address the key constraints of poor welfare, inadequate nutrition, poor reproduction, poor housing, and high mortality often seen with traditional systems, and if farmer access to emerging market opportunities is improved. However, as shown by previous experience, inadequate regulation and staff who lack the appropriate training to care for the welfare of intensively housed livestock can be major challenges to overcome.
Keywords: Animal management
Animal production efficiency
Animal welfare
Domestic livestock
Intensive farming
Intensive production
Rights: Copyright status unknown
DOI: 10.20506/rst.33.1.2256
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Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications
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