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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Volume 14(3); 2001 > Article
Review Paper
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2001;14(3): 423-431.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2001.423    Published online March 1, 2001.
Environmental Challenges of Animal Agriculture and the Role and Task of Animal Nutrition in Environmental Protection - Review -
Daiwen Chen
Animals are one of the important memberships of the food chain. The low-efficiency rule of nutrient transfer from one member to the next in the food chain determines the low efficiency of animal agriculture for human food. On the average, about 20% feed proteins and 15% feed energy can be converted into edible nutrients for humans. The rest proportion of feed nutrients is exposed to the environment. Environmental pollution, therefore, is inevitable as animal agriculture grows intensively and extensively. The over-loading of the environment by nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus from animal manure results in soil and water spoilage. The emission of gases like CH2, CO2, SO2, NO, NO2 by animals are one of the contributors for the acidification of the environment and global warming. The inefficient utilization of natural resources and the probable unsafety of animal products to human health are also a critical environmental issue. Improving the conversion efficiency of nutrients in the food chain is the fundamental strategy for solving environmental issues. Specifically in animal agriculture, the strategy includes the improvements of animal genotypes, nutritional and feeding management, animal health, housing systems and waste disposal programs. Animal nutrition science plays a unique and irreplaceable role in the control of nutrient input and output in either products or wastes. Several nutritional methods are proved to be effective in alleviating environmental pollution. A lot of nutritional issues, however, remain to be further researched for the science of animal nutrition to be a strong helper for sustainability of animal agriculture.
Keywords: Food Chain; Animal Agriculture; Environment; Animal Nutrition

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