24 Chapters
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1 Overview




C.S. Prasad,* P.K. Malik and R. Bhatta

National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bangalore,


1.1 Livestock Sector

Worldwide livestock are an integral component of agriculture that contribute directly or indirectly to the populace by providing food, value-added products, fuel and transport, enhancing crop production and generating incomes, livelihoods, etc. In addition, livestock also diversify production and income, provide year-round employment and reduce risk. Livestock play an important role in crop production, especially in developing countries, through providing farmyard manure and draught power to cultivate around 40% of arable land. There are 1526 million cattle and buffalo and 1777 million small ruminants in the world (FAO,

2011). Worldwide, these animals are scattered under grazing (30%), rainfed mixed (38.5%), irrigated mixed (30.15%) and landless/industrial (1.15%) production systems. There are interregional differences, too, in the distribution of livestock, attributed to the agroecological features, human population density and cultural norms. SubSaharan Africa, Latin America and the Near

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21 Phage Therapy in Livestock Methane Amelioration



Phage Therapy in Livestock

Methane Amelioration

Rosalind A. Gilbert,1,2* Diane Ouwerkerk1,2 and

Athol V. Klieve1,2,3


of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry,

Queensland, Australia; 2Centre for Animal Science, Queensland

Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Queensland,

Australia; 3School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia


Viruses of prokaryotes (phages) are obligate microbial pathogens that can, in the lytic phase of development, infect and lyse their respective bacterial or archaeal hosts. As such, these viruses can reduce the population density of their hosts rapidly, and have been viewed as possible agents of biological control (phage therapy). Phage therapy is becoming increasingly important as a means of eradicating or controlling microbial populations as the use of antibiotics and chemical treatments becomes both less effective and less publicly acceptable. Phage therapy has therefore been raised as a potential strategy to reduce methane (CH4) emissions from ruminants, providing an innovative biological approach, harnessing the potent, yet targeted, biocidal attributes of these naturally occurring microbial predators.

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3 Strategies for Alleviating Abiotic Stress in Livestock



Strategies for Alleviating Abiotic

Stress in Livestock

V. Sejian,1* Iqbal Hyder,2 P.K. Malik,1 N.M. Soren,1 A.

Mech,1 A. Mishra,1 and J.P. Ravindra1


Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Bangalore,

India; 2NTR College of Veterinary Science, Gannavaram, Andhra

Pradesh, India


The livestock sector accounts for 40% of the world’s agriculture gross domestic product

(GDP). It employs 1.3 billion people and creates livelihoods for 1 billion of the population living in poverty. Climate change is seen as a major threat to the survival of many species and ecosystems, and the sustainability of livestock production systems in many parts of the world. On the one hand, the current trend for the demand of livestock products is increasing, which offers market opportunities for small, marginal and landless farmers, while on the other hand, livestock production is facing the negative implications of environmental change, where abiotic stress is noteworthy.

For animals, heat stress is the most stressful among all the abiotic stressors. Reducing the impact of abiotic stress on livestock requires a multidisciplinary approach with emphasis on nutrition, housing and health.

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17 Ionophores: A Tool for Improving Ruminant Production and Reducing Environmental Impact



Ionophores: A Tool for Improving

Ruminant Production and

Reducing Environmental Impact

Natasha Bell,1 Tryon Wickersham,1 Vijay Sharma2 and Todd Callaway3*


A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA;

Research Service, USDA, Ames, Iowa, USA;

3Agricultural Research Service, USDA, College Station, Texas,




17.1 Introduction

Ruminal fermentation is an inherently inefficient process converting up to 12% of dietary carbon and energy into end products

(e.g. CH4) that are largely unusable by the animal. Ruminant nutritionists seek to modify fermentation, specifically by increasing ruminal propionic acid yield, reducing methanogenesis and decreasing ruminal proteolysis and deamination of dietary proteins in order to improve production efficiency. To date, a variety of methods have been investigated in an effort to meet these objectives. Carboxylic polyether compounds, ‘ionophores’, are an effective means of decreasing enteric CH4 emissions when included in ruminant diets.

Although ruminant nutritionists have historically focused on feeding ionophores to increase efficiency and profitability, recent attention has focused on the ability of ionophores to impact global greenhouse gas production. This chapter examines the use of ionophores in cattle diets for the mitigation of enteric CH4 production. Issues like ionophore resistance and the impact of ionophore feeding on human health are also addressed.

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9 Carbon Footprints of Food of Animal Origin



Carbon Footprints of Food of

Animal Origin

Gerhard Flachowsky*

Institute of Animal Nutrition, Braunschweig, Germany


Animal production contributes substantially to global greenhouse gas emissions (about

14.5%). So-called carbon footprints (CFs) consider the greenhouse gas potential of climate-relevant gases (e.g. CO2 u 1; CH4 u

23; N2O u 296), which is given in carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent g–1 or kg–1 of product or unit of edible protein. CFs may help to assess the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of food of animal origin such as milk, meat, eggs or fish, and they may contribute to sensitizing producers and consumers to a more resource-efficient and environmentally friendly production and consumption of food of animal origin and to avoiding food wastage. The highest CFs per unit edible protein are calculated for products of growing ruminants (beef and lamb), followed by milk, pork, eggs and poultry meat, with the lowest values. Discrepancies in the results of various studies are explained mainly by different system boundaries, allocation methods and computation of emissions, especially with regard to land-use changes, enteric methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. A more standardized approach for CF calculations would be a very useful tool to compare CFs between production systems, regions and countries, and as an indicator for food labelling. The production of food of animal origin is a very complex process, and a selective consideration, i.e. focusing on single factors,

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