Roadmap to Reduce Livestock Emissions

UK - The English livestock sector has set out a roadmap to reduce the impact that beef cattle and sheep have on the environment.
calendar icon 1 December 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced through livestock production and at the same time maintain a sustainable industry.

At the launch of the plan - Change the Air: The English Beef and Sheep Production Roadmap - in London, the chairman of EBLEX John Cross said that they were publishing an initial roadmap, that shows where the industry stands at present and lays down markers about how it can achieve the government target of an 11 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

"Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing agriculture," he said.

"However, it is important to keep a sense of perspective on the part livestock production plays in overall greenhouse gas emissions and not get carried away with placing the burden of blame on an individual sector."

He said that some tough targets had been set, but the roadmap was setting out a "win-win scenario" for the industry.

Agriculture minister Jim Fitzpatrick welcomed the roadmap and described it as a "significant first step" for the industry.

"I welcome your recognition of the importance of the challenges that climate change poses to the livestock industry," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

The National Farmers' Union president Peter Kendall said that it was a commitment by the industry and a demonstration that it is being proactive in meeting the climate change issues.

He said that the roadmap is just the first stage and in the second stage he foresaw significant scientific improvements.

The roadmap launched this week looks at the current position for emissions from beef and sheep meat production processes on the farm and what can be done to improve performance.

It was put together by EBLEX over the last year working closely with the NFU, Defra, British Retail Consortium, British Meat Processors Association, Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, National Sheep Association and the National Beef Association.

The report highlights three main areas - breeding, feeding and management - that all offer the sector opportunities for improvement and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

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