Threats of climate change on livestock products: A review
Shelly Jain, Suman Bishnoi and SS Ahlawat
Global demand for livestock products is expected to double by 2050, mainly due to improvement in the worldwide standard of living. Meanwhile, climate change is a threat to livestock production because of the impact on meat and milk production, livestock diseases, animal reproduction and biodiversity. Climate change is a major and important threat to the survival of many species in many parts of the world. Previous work has shown that a wet-bulb temperature (TW) of 35°C can be considered an upper limit on human survivability. On the basis of an ensemble of high-resolution climate change simulations also has been project that extremes of TW in South Asia are likely to approach and, in a few locations, exceed this critical threshold by the late 21st century under the business-as-usual scenario of future greenhouse gas emissions. The livestock sector which will be the most sufferer of climate change is itself a large source of methane emissions contributing about 18% of total enteric methane. In Indian subcontinent, an estimated annual loss due to direct thermal stress on livestock is about 1.8 million tonnes of milk (2661.62 crores) in the country. In the case of meat production, beef with high weights, thick coats, and darker colors are more vulnerable to warming. Strong negative effects of the hot season (average temperature of 34.3 ± 1.67 °C and 48.8 ± 7.57% relative humidity) have been reported on body size, carcass weight and fat thickness in ruminants, pigs and broilers and on the quality characteristics of beef meat, in particular, higher ultimate pH, lower Warner–Bratzler shear force and darker meat in heat-stressed beef cattle. Though the reduction in GHG emissions from livestock industries are seen as high priorities but strategies for reducing these emissions should not reduce the economic viability of livestock enterprises. Hence, reducing the total area where high milk and meat yielding livestock may be economically reared.
How to cite this article:
Shelly Jain, Suman Bishnoi, SS Ahlawat. Threats of climate change on livestock products: A review. Pharma Innovation 2017;6(12):307-312.