The World Society Protection of Animals and Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) have come together with a new research study showing that feeding livestock with cereal and other crop-rich diets is likely to have negative effects on food security globally, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, and parts of Asia and Latin America where food security is already problematic.
The new independent report, written by a team led by Prof. Karlheinz Erb at the Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria University in Vienna, challenges the current thought which suggests that intensification of farming is the only way to feed the world.
It goes on to show that it is possible to rear livestock with good animal welfare standards and feed the world a healthy diet.
This is important to the global debate on food security, as livestock production is the biggest use of our food resources worldwide and is expected to continue to grow its demand.
• Over 30 per cent of the global cereal harvest is used to feed farm animals. It doubles to 60 per cent in the EU.
• In 2007, approximately 25 per cent of the total world fish production was used for purposes other than to feed people. This fish was used to feed pigs and poultry, amongst other uses.
• Around 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the livestock sector
These findings confirmed what WSPA and CIWF staff are seeing as emerging trends.
The two charities are urging governments, intergovernmental organisations, the donor community and the food industry to take action on the direction of livestock production from the following areas:
1. Develop humane and sustainable food security strategies, including farm animal welfare in future food security assessments and policies
2. Question the intensification of livestock farming
3. Reduce the quantity of arable crops, especially cereals, fed to livestock
4. Develop specific food and livestock policies to assist vulnerable sectors of the population
5. Promote sustainable, lower meat diets and address food losses and waste
Want to find out more?
The report was commissioned by CIWF and funded by CIWF, the Tubney Charitable Trust and WSPA.