Meeting sustainability challenges is possible, says livestock consultant

Scotland’s beef and sheep farms can meet sustainability goals.
calendar icon 6 March 2020
clock icon 1 minute read

According to reporting in the Farmers Guardian, Jude Capper, a UK-based livestock sustainability consultant, made the claims while speaking at the Meat for the Future conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

The country’s environmental credentials were already strong – greenhouse gas emissions from all livestock reduced by 15 percent from 1998 to 2017. Dr Capper commented, “there are big differences around the globe, with Western Europe comparing well with other regions with GHG emissions per kg of beef deadweight averaging 18kg.”

UK beef averaged 22.6kg for beef and 25.2 kg for lamb, but there were differences between systems, with the best only producing 7kg of GHG per kg of beef and the worst 55kg.

“The environmental impact of red meat production is not only about emissions,” said Dr Capper.

“Water use, nutrient loss, mined resources, pollution and other factors have to be taken into account.
“The differences in water use around the globe are stark. English beef requires 133 litres per kg deadweight to produce, and lamb 96 litres.

“US beef production needs 3,682 litres per kg, with 95 per cent of this due to irrigation.”

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