Life cycle assessment (LCA) is currently one of the most widely used methods for assessing the environmental impacts and performance of livestock products. According to this procedure, intensification of animal production is generally advocated to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions compared with extensive grazing systems due to the use of selected breeds, with enhanced productivity, and the significant reductions in CH4 emissions consequent to the use of concentrates rather than forages. In addition, the impact of intensive systems on land use is much lower. However, free-ranging Podolian cattle show a number of positive environmental effects, such as increased climate stability, improved soil functionality, water quality and footprint and preservation from fires along with maintaining an economically active social community in otherwise unproductive, marginal areas. Other beneficial effects of extensive Podolian farming system include low competition with human nutrition and high level of animal health and welfare. An economic evaluation of these non-commodity outputs should be indirectly estimated by the avoided costs (e.g. reduced veterinary interventions and therapy treatments) or the lack of profits (e.g. direct payments for the enhancement of environmental performance) that would have incurred in their absence. These economic evaluations should be used in order to allocate them as further outputs to be included in the LCA in order to achieve a more accurate estimation of the impact of the Podolian farming system.

The hidden costs of livestock environmental sustainability: The case of Podolian Cattle

Bragaglio A.;
2015

Abstract

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is currently one of the most widely used methods for assessing the environmental impacts and performance of livestock products. According to this procedure, intensification of animal production is generally advocated to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions compared with extensive grazing systems due to the use of selected breeds, with enhanced productivity, and the significant reductions in CH4 emissions consequent to the use of concentrates rather than forages. In addition, the impact of intensive systems on land use is much lower. However, free-ranging Podolian cattle show a number of positive environmental effects, such as increased climate stability, improved soil functionality, water quality and footprint and preservation from fires along with maintaining an economically active social community in otherwise unproductive, marginal areas. Other beneficial effects of extensive Podolian farming system include low competition with human nutrition and high level of animal health and welfare. An economic evaluation of these non-commodity outputs should be indirectly estimated by the avoided costs (e.g. reduced veterinary interventions and therapy treatments) or the lack of profits (e.g. direct payments for the enhancement of environmental performance) that would have incurred in their absence. These economic evaluations should be used in order to allocate them as further outputs to be included in the LCA in order to achieve a more accurate estimation of the impact of the Podolian farming system.
978-3-319-16356-7
978-3-319-16357-4
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/251021
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