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2: Trade Policies for Animal Products

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade Policies for Animal

Products

2

2.1  Development of Trade Policy

Trade is a natural activity for a species that is very social, highly communicative and mobile around the planet. Humans evolved as an opportunistic species, seeking out new environments to occupy. When the majority of the habitable areas of the planet had been colonized, several thousand years ago, humans naturally turned to trade to cement relations with people in occupied lands for mutual benefit. Through trade they could obtain goods that they could not produce or obtain at home, and in return they offered goods they were able to produce or could produce more easily, or economically, than those in the lands they visited.

Trade also developed relations between peoples of different cultures, allowing fringe benefits to be had through the cultural exchange that ensued. Inevitably, it required a degree of trust between the traders, concerning delayed payment for example, or the benign intent of visitors. In some cases trade was a smokescreen for an attempt to take over a region, and thus great caution was required on the part of the hosts for a visiting party.

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5: Trade in Some Key Animal Products: Dairy, Wool and Fur

Phillips, C.J.C. CABI PDF

Trade in Some Key Animal

Products: Dairy, Wool and Fur

5

5.1  Introduction

The primary purpose of keeping agricultural animals has been for the production of meat. However, two key commodities, milk and wool, were highly instrumental in the development of the farming of animals because they did not require the animal to be destroyed. Both were involved in the original domestication of sheep and cattle and have remained of major significance to this day. A third commodity, fur, developed because of the need for people to keep warm, and the use of animal skins for this purpose dates back to before domestication, when hunters in cooler climes had no alternatives to keep warm other than the use of animal skins. In contrast to milk and wool, which can be obtained without animal slaughter, the terminal consequences of obtaining an animal’s skin and, nowadays, limited need to use fur to keep warm because of the many alternatives available, has given users of fur the image of decadence and cruelty as a result of the trapping and farming methods used.

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8: Trade in Horses, Cats and Dogs

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Trade in Horses, Cats and

Dogs

8

8.1  Introduction

Horses, cats and dogs share a common usage as companion animals but they can also variously be used as racing animals (horses and dogs), for meat production

(horses mostly, sometimes dogs and very occasionally cats), milk production (horses) and fur production (cats and dogs). Because these animals supply specialist markets, not mainstream like cattle and chickens, trade is often local. The trade is often not regulated as well as the livestock trade, frequently covert and sometimes illegal.

8.2  Horses

Horse trading has a long history, with evidence of activity in central Asia around

1000 bce (Wagner et al., 2011). The close relation between owner and horse makes the transaction very reliant on the owner’s report of the characteristics of the horse. The potential for deceit in this activity has given the term ‘horse trading’ special meaning in relation to business deals.

According to the World Horse Organization (WHO, 2015), there are now approximately 58 million horses worldwide, with 16% in the USA, 13% in China,

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1: The History of Animal Trade

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The History of Animal Trade

1

1.1  Introduction

Our ancestors existed as hunter gatherers, and before that as anthropoid apes. The hunter gatherers had varied diets, which gave them security as a population against climatic extremes that favoured certain plant and animal types (Milton, 2000). The costs and risks of procuring meat and animal products were high and many were primarily gatherers. However, meat, once it was obtained, was a concentrated source of energy and protein, the most important nutrients that they required for survival. Not only did hunter gatherers in different parts of the world have quite varied diets, depending on availability, they were also free to migrate to utilize different fauna and flora sources, depending on the season and weather patterns.

Settled agriculture, adopted over a period of just a few thousand years beginning about 10,000 years ago, offered the opportunity for higher yields from plants and animals that were farmed in small areas. However, the static nature of this activity and the enhanced resource requirements of this form of food production, in the form of a regular water supply and a nutrient-rich soil, increased exposure to climatic and seasonal extremes. The inevitable variation in productivity could only be absorbed into a successful existence if humans cooperated with neighbouring groups, so that food surpluses in one region were transported to others where the need was greater. Thus our cognitive skills in organizing this trade, coupled with our highly social behaviour, combined to make plant and animal raising a viable alternative to hunter gathering when societies cooperated by trading in surplus goods.

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6: Trade in Live Farm Animals

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Trade in Live Farm Animals

6

6.1  Introduction

Trade in live farm animals spans a wide range of cultures and societies, from a local level to the big bilateral export trades that exist around the world. The local trade has a long history. Livestock have been used as dowry for thousands of years, and are still used in Africa and by primitive tribes in Asia (Anon., 2010). However, the live animal trade usually refers to live export and import, i.e. animals that are traded across national borders, but many livestock are also traded within a country, particularly if it is large, such as the USA, Australia or Brazil. Nowadays, with intensification of the livestock industries, the availability of fast transport and growing demand for animals and their products in many parts of the world, the live animal trade is rapidly increasing.

Demand for trade in live food animals is principally dependent on the size of the human population, their demand for animal products and the feasibility of them being traded alive, rather than as a processed product. The trade most obviously follows a migration of animals from the southern to the northern hemisphere, with regions such as Australia/New Zealand, southern Africa and South

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