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Review Paper
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2007;20(4): 605-614.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2007.605    Published online January 24, 2007.
Environmental Sustainability and Social Desirability Issues in Pig Feeding
T. S. Yang*
Correspondence:  T. S. Yang,
Feeding pigs used to be a means of managing domestic resources that may otherwise have been wasted into valuable animal protein. Feeding pigs thus was a form of husbandry. Following recent rapid industrial development, pig rearing has changed from extensive to intensive, but this transformation has been associated with major concerns. The concentration of large amounts of pig manure in small arrears is environmentally hazardous. Moreover, high densities of animals in intensive production systems also impose a health threat for both animals and humans. Furthermore, the use of growth promoters and preventive medicines for higher production efficiencies, such as in-feed antibiotics, also induces microbial resistance thus affects human therapeutics. In addition, consumers are questioning the ethics of treating animals in intensive production systems. Animal welfare, environmental and bio-safe issues are re-shaping the nature of pig production systems. Feeding pigs thus involves not only the consideration of economic traits, but also welfare traits and environmental traits. Thus, a focus on technological feasibility, environmental sustainability and social desirability is essential for successful feeding operations. Feeding pigs now involves multiple projects with different sustainability goals, but goal conflicts exist since no pattern or scenario can fulfill all sustainability goals and the disagreements are complicated by reduced or even no use of in-feed antibiotics. Thus it is difficult to feed pigs in a manner that meets all goals of high quality, safe product, eco- and bio-sustainability, animal welfare and profit. A sustainable pig production system thus requires a prioritization of goals based on understanding among consumers, society and producers and needs to view from both a local and global perspective.
Keywords: Pig Feeding; Environmental Sustainability; Social Desirability
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