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FAO World Livestock Report Projects Drastic Increase in Meat Consumption

FAO14 December 2011: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has released the 2011 World Livestock Report, which underscores the strains that a growing world population and increased consumption of animal protein will place on natural resources.

The FAO projects a 73% increase in meat consumption by 2050 and that much of the future demand for livestock will be met by large-scale/intensive operations, which may pose significant environmental impacts through groundwater pollution and increased emissions.

The report highlights approaches to mitigate these effects through increasing efficiency and reducing pollution, reducing the input of water and grain per unit of output, and recycling by-products. It underscores the need to focus on increasing the efficiency of livestock systems in converting natural resources into food and reducing waste. It stresses the need to refocus efforts on improving livestock systems.

The report also notes the important contribution of livestock and livestock products to the nutrition of low-income households in developing countries and discussing particular issues facing livestock dependant pastoral societies, which are highly vulnerable to climate change. [Publication: World Livestock 2011] [FAO Press Release]