Animal Briefs

Short insights into controversial issues in livestock production
Posted October 10th, 2012
Since farm animals were domesticated thousands of years ago, the genetic make-up of animals has changed enormously. Breeders have manipulated thousands of genes to improve traits such as milk yield,...
Posted October 10th, 2012
With increasing levels of obesity and an aging population in the UK, the risk of cardiovascular disease and its potential costs are increased. Understanding how diets can modify that risk is vital....
Posted October 9th, 2012
Wild-flower meadows are semi-natural grasslands that have been created by long-term, low-intensity farming practices. Semi-natural grasslands contains mixtures of grasses, broad-leaved herbs, sedges...
Posted October 9th, 2012
Genomics is the process of identifying the genetic potential of an animal so they can be selected for breeding on the basis of traits they are expected to show. It can identify the potential of young...
Posted October 9th, 2012
Livestock farming is responsible for 8-10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Methane produced by ruminants (animals with a four-part stomach, including cattle and sheep) us a major contributor...
Posted September 15th, 2012
The UK imports about 30% of its meat. Some is from the EU, but a large amount is from countries including Brazil, Argentina and Australia, where lower production costs make meat cheaper. In some non...
Posted February 1st, 2012
Bracken is a problem for livestock farmers in many parts of the UK. It reduces grassland productivity by spreading and shading other vegetation, makes gathering of sheep flocks difficult and harbours...
Posted October 15th, 2011
Interest in keeping dairy cows indoors comes from developments in animal genetics, health and nutrition, which have contributed to a cow’s milk output increasing by 80 litres/year over the past 20...