Lessening environmental impact of the pig industry

08-06-2012 | |

The pig industry worldwide has a major contribution to make to lessening environmental impact. Major steps have already been taken towards achieving this and the International Meat Secretariat has just published a report called Pigs and the Environment which examines the whole issue.

Some 16 different countries around the world have provided information for the report which shows just how seriously the pig industry is taking its responsibilities.
It takes for its starting point the statement from the FAO in Livestock’s Long Shadow which says “the considerable expansion of the livestock sector required by expanding demand must be accomplished while substantially reducing livestock’s environmental impact”.
Report author Mick Sloyan, chairman of the IMS Pork Committee and director of BPEX, said: “Put simply this means produce more with less.
“During our discussions it became clear that pork producers and processors in a wide range of countries have been investing in new and often innovative ways of using resources more efficiently to produce high quality meat protein.
“In addition they are often managing the by-products of production and processing a positive way, for example to generate alternative energy sources and replacement inputs such as fertilisers.
“It was also clear that there is a strong commitment to accelerate these developments in order to meet the growing demand for meat in a sustainable way.”
The report illustrates some of the ways countries are addressing the challenge of producing more with less.
Some are simple, many are innovative and all of them demonstrate very clearly that meat production and processing is part of the solution in satisfying the needs of the world’s consumers in the years to come.
Mick said: “The report presents an overview of the global impact that pig production has on the environment and specifically the emission of Green House Gases. It uses provisional data produced by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. This data will be updated in the coming years as new knowledge becomes available.
“The report also contains examples of measures being taken in individual countries to reduce the impact on the environment in the future. These countries collectively account for 78% of the world’s pork production.”