Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsClimate change has a major impact on animal production through nutrition, changes in pest and disease prevalence, and direct impairment of production due to physiological stress. Climate change influences livestock production by affecting the conditions governing animal production and health. Extreme weather events and higher average temperatures cause stress in the animal. The interchange of heat between the animal and its environment influences animal performance. For example, growth, milk, and reproduction as well as animal health and welfare. Changes in climatic patterns and in seasonal conditions may affect disease behavior in terms of spread pattern, diffusion range, amplification, and persistence in novel habitats.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsPathogen invasion may result in the emergence of novel disease complexes, present major challenges for the sustainability of future animal agriculture at the global level. Concern has been raised that rising disease incidence will lead to overuse of pesticides and veterinary medicines, especially in fisheries. These changing conditions are exacerbating the pressure on ecosystems and may lead to decreases in biodiversity and shifts in relationships within community assemblages, threaten productivity and resiliency of current food systems. Genetic variability, the stage in the lifecycle cycle, and the nutritional status all play a role in the vulnerability and resiliency of the animal to environmental stress. The impact of climate-driven changes varies in different parts of the world and in different agro-climatic zones.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsChanges in management, technologies, and infrastructure may be necessary to ensure animal production is resilient to climate change effects. The appropriate means of adoption will be dependent on the location, sector, and production system. A proactive approach is key to the management of climate risks. The food industry, along with other stakeholders, need to work together to gather information on the projected climate variability, relate these to food safety, and develop region and localized action plans to identify adaption and mitigation measures. There is also a need for continual vigilance to improve detection, identification, and underreporting of many pathogens.

The Impact of Climate Change on Animal Health

In this final section we will reveal the major impacts climate change has on animal production, affecting nutrition, access to water and animal health.

Climate change influences livestock production by affecting the conditions governing animal production and health. Extreme weather events and higher average temperatures cause stress in the animal. The interchange of heat between the animal and its environment influences animal performance, (e.g. growth, milk and reproduction) as well as animal health and welfare.

Changes in climatic patterns and in seasonal conditions may affect disease behavior in terms of spread pattern, diffusion range, amplification and persistence in novel habitats. The emergence of novel diseases, present major challenges for the future of animal agriculture at the global level.

Changes in management, technologies and infrastructure may be necessary to ensure animal production is resilient to climate change effects. The appropriate means of adaption will be dependent on the location, sector and production system. A proactive approach is key to the management of climate risks.

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This video is from the free online course:

Farm to Fork: Sustainable Food Production in a Changing Environment

EIT Food