Climate Change and Livestock Production
Climate change can be expressed in its simplest term as a periodic change that occurs in the climatic condition of an area over a long period of time thereby resulting in an unfavorable condition for both human and animal and everything that can possibly be affected either directly or indirectly.
This is often as a result of some of the human and animal activities that are considered harmful to the environment.
Livestock production as an activity in agricultural practices carried out by humans also contribute to climate change but in return massively affected by this harm condition in many ways.
Effects of climate change on Livestock
Physiological alteration such as changes in genetic makeups of livestock animals over time cause mutation which can affect some physiological systems such as reproduction, digestion etc. of animals.
The capacity of livestock to convert feed intake can also be affected when livestock are faced with the challenges posed by climate change as this will reduce the ability of animals to convert feeds to meats or other animal by-products.
Climate change is often measured by the impact on agricultural activities in terms of crop production and environmental conservation. A significant effects on crop production, forests, and the ecosystem indirectly affects the inability of pastoralists who practice grazing to feed livestock animals.
In addition to the effects of climate change on livestock production, drought and water shortage have been occurring more frequently because of global warming and are expected to become more frequently and intense in Africa. This also result in crop failure and the loss of pasture grazing land for livestock.
Implication on Livestock Business
Climate change in recent times has measurably affected the business of livestock whether directly on animals or indirectly from the outcome of the effects on other associated elements.
One of the most significant implications on the livestock industry is shortage in market supply due to less quality of breeds produced and the reduced natality rate.
Unpredictability of the environmental conditions has prevented some livestock managements operations such as artificial insemination, genetic modifications, etc. which may hinder the productivity and profitability of livestock business.
Global warming affect livestock, e.g. change in average temperature, change in rainfall, change can cause change in several physiological activities of livestock animals and as a result affect the productivity and profitability.
This has gained global attention and has earned global discourse most especially at the level of international gatherings for policy makers, business leaders as well as environmental advocates. Policies can help shape and reduce the risk of continuous negative impacts of climate change on livestock production.