Sustainable livestock production

Our list of practices covers issues such as welfare, including preserving animal health and productivity and production quality, biosecurity, limiting the use of antibiotics to targeted treatment only and excluding their preventive use as well as avoiding the use of antibiotics critical to human medicine in the treatment of animals.

Climate aspects, such as limiting greenhouse gas emissions, in particular minimizing the release of methane, ammonia and nitrogen oxides, are an important element of the recommended practices. In addition, the proper use of livestock manure can contribute to improving soil fertility and increasing biodiversity.

The Association for Sustainable Agriculture & Food in Poland is a non-commercial initiative of a group of companies and individuals representing various sectors of the food chain. The association undertakes a number of activities to promote, educate and cooperate in the field of sustainable agriculture in Poland.

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List of sustainable practices in livestock production:

Care for animal welfare – animal welfare is a fundamental factor in maintaining good animal health, productivity and production quality. In addition to the economic side, welfare allows for social acceptance of the industry as operating according to the principles of ethics and humanity.

Use of antibiotics only in the form of targeted treatment – the treatment of animals must result from the real necessity of such actions, and the use of antibiotics is permissible only as a targeted treatment of individual animals or production groups. Preventive use of antibiotics is not allowed except in strictly defined cases, e.g. drying cows.

Avoiding the use of critical antibiotics in treatment – due to the danger of antibiotic resistance of bacteria that are dangerous to humans, critical antibiotics should be limited as much as possible in the treatment of livestock. Their use should be only an exception, clearly justified by the results of bacteriological examination.

Animal nutrition and animal husbandry systems that minimize greenhouse gas emissions – more than half of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture come from livestock production. Any change in the feeding system for ruminants, animal husbandry and manure collection in a way that minimizes the release of methane, ammonia and nitrogen oxides contributes to the reduction of adverse climate change.

Application of biosecurity principles – animal diseases, and especially epidemic diseases, are a huge threat to any livestock production, its productivity and profitability. This is important for all animal species, but in the case of poultry and pigs it determines the mere existence of these types of production.

Purposeful and lawful management of animal excrements – all animal excrement if properly used become excellent organic fertilizers that make it possible to maintain and improve soil fertility, its biodiversity, and thus obtaining permanently high and profitable crop yields without environmental damage.

Compliance with the principles of health and safety when handling animals and working on the farm – the safety of life and health of employees and other people is superior to the production goals of the farm. This requires a thorough analysis of each workplace, the hazards associated with it and the identification of ways of removing them or minimizing the risk to people. Health and safety requirements are clearly described in legal regulations and are not subject to interpretation.