New Assessment for Environmental Impact of Broilers, Layers

AUSTRALIA – Poultry farmers around the world could soon have a consistent way of assessing the environmental impact of their operation.
calendar icon 4 June 2014
clock icon 2 minute read

Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions, energy and water use, the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is already improving understanding of where Australian poultry can go in the future.

The LCA comes from the combined efforts of two industry bodies - the Australian chicken meat industry and the Rural Industries R&D Corporation.

Along with global collaborators the International Poultry Council and the International Egg Commission, Australian experts intend LCA to be a methodology of guidelines for reducing the environmental burden of chicken and egg production.

This LCA sits among three guidelines in the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) draft guidelines for LEAP (Livestock Environmental Assessment Performance).

Stephen Wiedemann, an agricultural scientist who consulted on the technical side of the development, sees ‘significant benefits’ of the project.

He said: “LCA is a method to calculate environmental burden of a whole system, for example, poultry production, and so far there has been no consistency globally in the way that assessments have been conducted.”

“Firstly it provides guidelines that will underpin future research and allow harmonisation within the poultry sector in terms of how environmental impacts are conducted. Secondly, these guidelines provide a framework.”

He added that collaboration from experts around the world has been ‘invaluable’ to developing research methods in what is a complex area.

Michael Priestley

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