About this Research Topic
Our current livestock systems are susceptible to an increasingly volatile environment which can result in adverse outcomes for people, the environment and animals. Resilient and healthy livestock systems are required, enabled by considering people, environment and animals. Such systems will enable a focused effort looking forward as opposed to managing and alleviating adverse outcomes.
What can be done?
- Enable animal scientists to play a proactive role in the overall design of future livestock systems. The role for animal scientists in policy making, system design and animal breeding. How can animal scientists be involved in (i) setting the direction of travel e.g. in setting breeding objectives and goals (not just building the genetic models to achieve goals set by others) (ii) acting as advocates for animal needs in the design of new housing and management systems?
- To look beyond western values. Indigenous and traditional sources of knowledge and resources in developing the systems of tomorrow.
- To provide the history of housing/management systems for various farmed species. How did we get where we are today? Lessons from the past.
- To understand the changing drivers and priorities for animal production systems – environmental sustainability (biodiversity/climate change), animal welfare; AMR; risk of future pandemics, war and conflict.
The health of people, the environment and animals in current livestock production systems. The aim is to understand the historic trends and current areas for improvement, providing a vision for future livestock systems.
1. The diversity in system performance (focus on resilience and health):
- What can we learn from each other? What is current best practice for animal production systems, what are the gaps and what will the future farm look like?
- Interaction between animals, people and the environment. Can any system provide an optimal intersection or will different needs be met by a diversity of different systems?
2. Indigenous knowledge and system health
3. Consumer trends
- For the wealthier market: Eat less, eat better? Where this places future livestock systems (value-added products etc.)
- For the developing market
4. Stakeholder roles and decision making:
– Producers, private companies (equipment manufacturers; systems engineers), legislators, consumers, NGOs, retailers and food systems. How have decisions been made in the past and what needs to change?
Keywords: production system, livestock, policy, regulation, environment, welfare, society, climate
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