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Global food security via efficient livestock production: targeting poor animal husbandry
  1. Tom N. McNeilly, BVMS, BSc, PhD, MRCVS
  1. Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ, UK; e-mail:

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GIVEN an increasing global human population, which is predicted to reach over nine billion by 2050 (United Nations 2015), it is widely recognised that improvements in the efficiency of livestock production are urgently required in order to meet the increased demand for meat and milk products. This has led to significant research activities focused on the development of sophisticated tools and technologies to enable ‘sustainable intensification’ of farming practices in order to increase productivity, while minimising any negative environmental consequences (Garnett and others 2013). However, while novel technological solutions will inevitably play a key role in future global food security, more immediate efficiency savings may well be possible through improvements in basic animal husbandry, particularly in lower income countries where knowledge and/or resources may be more limited.

Sargison and others (2017) illustrates this point in a paper summarised on p 278 in this week's issue of Veterinary Record. In this paper a population of goats in southern India were intensively studied over a four-week-period. By recording basic production, nutritional and parasitological parameters the study clearly demonstrated that pragmatic production targets, such as kid growth and …

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