Understanding the environmental impact of global dairy production

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2 Scopus citations


Some popular press articles and social media discussions continue to cite the erroneous data presented in the "Livestock's Long Shadow" publication (FAO, 2006). While this data has subsequently been shown to be incorrect (Pitesky et al, 2009), on-going discussions about the high level of impact of livestock on global GHG emissions continue to be shared as fact nearly 15 years later. There is inherent complexity in studying the biology of livestock for meat and milk production. Efforts to make this complexity more understandable can lead to incorrect assumptions and create an unfavorable and incorrect view of dairy and livestock production for the general public. An unfavorable image of animal production creates added challenge for dairy and livestock producers. If the general public is to believe information about the environmental impact of livestock production, it is critical that that information is both accurate and easily understood. The following paper that highlights sustainable animal science and practices by Capper and Cady (2020) provides a review using modeling techniques for more recent updates (2007-2017), GHG emissions and overall impact of dairy production on environmental sustainability. Additionally, the contribution of ruminants to overall GHG emissions has also been more recently been summarized by Mitloehner (2018.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberskz365
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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