How does sustainability apply to livestock production systems?

Approaches to livestock sustainability have been touched upon in other parts of the sustainability hub — see Regenerative Agriculture, Holistic Management, Organic Production etc.

There are additional efforts being made exclusively in regard to livestock production in Australia. This is important as the raising of livestock has not been synonymous with sustainability in the eyes of many consumers and environmentalists. However, livestock production can be sustainable and there is significant work being performed to ensure methods continually improve and adapt.

  • "Production can be sustainable, occurring in environments that: supply the needs of the animals resulting in good welfare, allow coexistence with a wide diversity of organisms native to the area, minimize carbon footprint and provide a fair lifestyle for the people working there." Proceedings of the Royal Society 
  • "There is a need to enhance the efficiency of natural-resource use in the sector and to reduce the environmental footprint of livestock production. The goal is to ensure that continued growth in livestock production does not create undue pressure on ecosystems, biodiversity, land and forest resources and water quality and does not contribute to global warming."  Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

  • "To sustain livestock production on a property, the following must be done: select breeds of livestock appropriate to the site, control overstocking, use an appropriate production system, and apply appropriate land care practices to sustain the condition of the land (e.g. subdivision fencing according to soil types and land use)." ACS Distance Education

  • "Australian cattle and sheep farmers are committed to producing beef and lamb sustainably. As passionate stewards of almost 50% of Australia’s landmass, Australia’s cattle and sheep farmers work hard to leave the land, waterways, vegetation and soils in better condition for future generations.

    Every day cattle and sheep farmers across Australia are doing simple things to improve their environmental sustainability, whether it be installing solar panels, fencing off dams to increase biodiversity on their properties or using different stocking strategies to improve soil health and groundcover.

    For Australia’s cattle and sheep farmers, sustainability isn’t only about the environment, it’s also about good animal welfare, contributing to their local communities, and ensuring that cattle and sheep farming is economically viable for future generations." Target 100

What is TargeT 100?

  • "The industry’s Target 100 initiative demonstrates the long term commitment of Australia’s cattle and sheep farmers to advance sustainable practices – from an environmental, animal welfare, social and economic perspective - and ensure a sustainable food supply for generations to come. Target 100 outlines 100 research, development and extension activities covering soil, water, energy, pests and weeds, biodiversity, emissions and animal welfare." Target 100