Monday, 30 July 2012

Livestock Feed Additives with a Beneficial Effect on the Environment

The environmental impact of the livestock raised for our food has had plenty of news coverage over recent times as it is claimed to account for about half of the human-caused greenhouse gases. But how can we control and reduce the waste gases produced by the livestock?

Livestock feed is often improved by the use of feed additives, which not only improve diet and health, but can be used to improve other aspects of livestock production such as increase milk yields, suppress the female reproductive cycle as well as improve the digestion processes in animals.

A new research contract awarded to the Agricultural and Environmental Research Unit (AERU) will review the chemical additives used in livestock diets, and critically evaluate their potential for delivering environmental benefits such as reducing the waste gases that may contribute to climate change.

Led by Dr Kathy Lewis, the study will undertake a thorough, critical and systematic review to produce a global inventory of current feed additives that offer environmental benefits. Funded by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA), the information will support current European regulatory process on feed additives, and will help develop more sustainable policies in this area.

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