IntensiveRearing of Domestic Livestock

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  • Intensive Rearing of Domestic Livestock
    • produce the maximum yield  
      • lowest cost possible
    • convert the smallest amount of food energy into the greatest amount of animal mass
      • minimising there energy loss by keeping them in confined spaces to increase energy conversion rate
        • Environment can be kept warm so not used to maintain body heat
        • Feeding can be controlled for maximum growth
        • Movement is restricted so less energy is used in muscle contraction
        • Predators are excluded so no loss to other organisms in food web
    • selective breeding
      • more efficient at converting food into body mass
      • hormones to increase growth rates
    • Main features  
      • Efficient energy conversion
      • Worst tasting food
      • Less land is used leaving more natural habitats
      • Low cost
      • High density animal population more at risk to spread of disease but easier to isolate if this happens
      • Maintains a higher level of animal welfare but can lead to aggressive behaviour from being in unnatural conditions
      • Produces large concentrations of waste in a small area rivers and ground waters may become polluted, pollutant gases can be dangerous and smell, larger have own waste facilities
      • Over use of drugs lead to antibiotic resistance and can also alter the flavour of food or pass into the foods then into humans affecting their health
      • Reduced genetic diversity due to selective breeding
      • Animals are regularly given antibiotics to prevent spread of disease
      • High energy-conservation rates due to use of fossil fuels, CO2 levels released increased global warming
    • Economic and environmental issues
      • economic
        • desire for cheap food conflicts with the conservation of the environment
      • envronmental
        • reduced species diversity
          • filling in ponds and draining marshes and other wetlands   
          • creation of monocultures
          • over-grazing of land preventing regeneration of woodland
          • removal of hedges and woodland   
        • Indirect effect to reduce species diversity
          • escape of farm wastes into water courses
          • absence of crop rotation leading to poor soil structure
          • use of pesticides and inorganic fertilisers   

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