Greenhouse gas emissions of livestock raised in a harsh environment

Domestic animals are large emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and developing countries raise a large number of those animals. Livestock can be divided into local and improved animals. Local animals are usually not well characterised and seldom subject to structured breeding programs but well adapted to local environmental conditions while improved animals are characterised by high productions but limited capacity to adapt to extreme conditions. Analysis conducted with the use of ex-ante carbon-balance tool software indicated that the use of local livestock reduces the GHG emissions. Local dairy cattle emitted 1.54 kg CO2-eq/kg of milk and improved dairy cattle emitted 2.63 kg CO2-eq/kg of milk. Local livestock in extreme climate conditions can perform better than improved livestock and, because of their lower GHG emissions, they can contribute to mitigating climate. Overall, the findings support the existing literature on preserving local genetic resources due to their important role for future generations.

Authors:FEDERICO ANTONIO CANU, Flavio Forabosco, Roberto Mantovani
Published year:2018
Content type:Journal article
Orbit ID:ac1ee388-c949-4b71-9e20-4b7eb8492ff7
Is current:Current