Poultry And Livestock Farmings Affect The Environment

LIMA Fish Feed Machine,Chicken Feed Machine

Over recent decades the poultry industry has made tremendous adjustments to meet the increasing demand for inexpensive and safe supply of meat and eggs. Over the past three decades, the poultry sector has been growing at more than 5 percent per annum (compared to 3 percent for pig meat and 1.5 percent for bovine meat) and its share in world meat production increased from 15 percent three decades ago to 30 percent currently (FAO, 2006a).

This growth has been accompanied by structural changes within the sector, characterized by the emergence and growth of “land-independent” (industrial) farming establishments, and the intensification and concentration of poultry operations. Pressure to lower production costs and increase supply has led to more efficient operations, made possible through the shift to larger, specialized and more integrated facilities, and through improvements in the use of animal genetics, optimized nutrition and new production technologies. The driving forces behind structural change in poultry production are no different than those that affect other livestock commodities: market pull, innovation and economies of scale. Innovation and economies of size that characterize the livestock sector have also served to separate animal production from crop production. Large, specialized facilities today focus on producing animals, and purchase most of their feed. This often means that there is limited access to land on which to spread manure.

The use of large facilities associated with higher concentrations of poultry, has given rise to environmental concerns that are not only limited to the local production settings, but extend to environmental problems at regional and global scales. The obvious, and often limited, impacts observed at production-site level, thus, tend to obscure much larger impacts on the regional and global environment.


Animal production units
Local disturbances (e.g. odour, flies and rodents) and landscape degradation are typical local negative amenities in the surroundings of poultry farms. Pollution of soil and water with nutrients, pathogens and heavy metals is generally caused by poor manure-management and occurs where manure is stored. Water and soil pollution related to poultry litter is, however, generally not an issue at the production site, as poultry manure is only directly discharged into the environment in exceptional conditions. Indeed, the high nutrient content and low water content of poultry litter make it a valuable input to agriculture. Manure is either recycled on cropland belonging to the animal farm or marketed. In the usual set-up, an intermediary or a processor collects manure from poultry farms. Manure is either resold rough or processed into compost or pellets. Manure products are used as fertilizer, or as animal feed especially for fish and cattle.

In south Viet Nam, the authors observed that end users may be located as far as 300 km from the animal farm where manure is produced. An intermediary will sell manure to the group of users with highest willingness to pay, which can change throughout the year, and from year to year, according to the cropping calendar and the economic conditions. Manure price at the animal-farm gate varies with its pureness (presence of litter) and water content and with the season (demand). On average, 20 kg bags of fresh chicken manure without litter are sold for VND4 000 to 6 000 while 20 kg bags of manure with litter are sold for VND1 500 to 2 000.

Local disturbances
Poultry facilities are a source of odour and attract flies, rodents and other pests that create local nuisances and carry disease. Odour emissions from poultry farms adversely affect the life of people living in the vicinity. Odour associated with poultry operations comes from fresh and decomposing waste products such as manure, carcasses, feathers and bedding/litter (Kolominskas et al., 2002; Ferket et al., 2002). On-farm odour is mainly emitted from poultry buildings, and manure and storage facilities. Odour from animal feeding operations is not caused by a single compound, but is rather the result of a large number of contributing compounds including ammonia (NH3), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) (IEEP, 2005). Of the several manure-based compounds which produce odour, the most commonly reported is ammonia. Ammonia gas has a sharp and pungent odour and can act as an irritant when present in elevated concentrations.

Odour is a local issue, which is hardly quantifiable; the impact greatly depends on the subjective perception of populations neighbouring the farm. It is, therefore, difficult to evaluate the maximum distance over which odorous gas travels; however, odour problems are generally concentrated within 500 metres of the farm. Although generally not causing any public-health concern, odours can represent a strong local problem that is frequently reported by farms’ neighbours as the most disturbing environmental impact. The emission of odours mostly depends on the frequency of animal-house cleaning, on the temperature and humidity of the manure, on the type of manure storage, and on air movements. For these reasons it is generally higher in waterfowl farms than in chicken farms.

In Egypt, about 13 millions birds were culled and buried as part of the control measures implemented in response to the HPAI outbreak. We assume an average weight of 1 kg per bird, and estimate that this amounts to the burial of 13 million kg of fresh organic matter. Water resources are particularly at risk as the animals were buried in areas of shallow water and high human population (310 inhabitants/km2 on average).

Pollution issues resulting cases
Following the recent avian influenza outbreak in Viet Nam, birds were culled and buried next to land used for human food production. The culling site itself was over a kilometre from the affected farm.

In Nigeria, a UNDP study (2006) found there was no adherence to any standard with regard to the location or the depth of the pits dug for the burial of carcasses. In some villages, the carcasses were thrown randomly into nearby bushes or open dump sites.

We then present an in-depth analysis of the impacts of poultry production pollution as the sector intensifies in certain preferred areas.

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