Solid, liquid and volatile effluents from modern intensive animal production including
aquaculture impact the environment locally, regionally and globally. In excessive amounts
solid and liquid manure, waste water and exhaust air from animal housing can be dangerous
and harmful to humans, animals, ground and surface water, soil, biodiversity and the
climate. Emissions of ammonia, zinc and copper have been successfully reduced by the
application of proper feeding regimes. Little is known about the presence and fate of
drug residues in manure and waste water effluents and the effects of bio-aerosols in
the farm vicinity and on nearby residents. In the context of the globally increasing
demand for food of animal origin the opportunity to lower the numbers of animals kept
in order to reduce emissions seems unrealistic. The following recommendations should
be realized in order to achieve sustainable protection of the environment:
Establish environmental standards for animal production worldwide to protect
human and animal health; this is particularly important for exporting countries.
Conduct risk analyses for all animal production systems in the various regions of the world.
Encourage the development of low-emission animal husbandry systems.
Improve regional planning for locating animal production sites.
Make environmental protection equally to animal welfare, consumer protection
and economy an essential part of the criteria for world trade in order to secure
global nutrition resources.