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How can livestock produce food that is better for the people and the planet?

Press release issued: 6 January 2016

An internationally renowned panel of speakers will share their perspectives on what role livestock can and should play in ensuring global food security and answer audience questions at a free event next week [Tuesday 12 January].

The four short presentations and panel discussion, entitled Is there a role for livestock in global food security will open the Steps to sustainable livestock conference hosted by the University of Bristol and Rothamsted Research from Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 January.

Speakers on the panel include: Imke de Boer from Wageningen University, Netherlands; Mike Wilkinson from Nottingham University; Brian Perry - Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford and previously the International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi; Graeme Martin from the University of Western Australia and Future Farm 2050.

Livestock are an important part of the food production landscape, but they are also associated with a number of negative environmental impacts, such as 14.5 per cent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, a proportion greater than the entire global transportation sector. Also, livestock consume large quantities of cereal crops that could be otherwise fed directly to humans. However, a quarter of the ice-free land surface of the earth is pasture available for grazing livestock and largely unsuitable for other types of food production. 

Professor Mark Eisler, Chair in Global Farm Animal Health in the School of Veterinary Sciences and Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol, said:  “Hot on the heels of Bristol’s European Green Capital 2015 and the game changing COP21 agreement in Paris, we are pleased to host four internationally renowned discussion panellists to address this key question at the interface of food security, environmental sustainability and One Health as the lead into the first Steps to sustainable livestock conference.”

Professor Michael Lee, Chair in Sustainable Livestock Systems in the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol and Head of Rothamsted Research, North Wyke site, added: “The Global Farm Platform is striving to develop sustainable solutions for ruminant livestock production as a crucial part of world food security. The presentations and panel discussion and the following international conference bring together leading figures to help address this major world issue.”

The public presentations and panel discussion Is there a role for livestock in global food security will take place on Tuesday 12 January at 5.45 pm in Lecture Theatre 1, School of Chemistry, University of Bristol, Cantocks Close, Bristol.

The event is free and open to the public, but tickets must be booked in advance through Eventbrite.

Further information

The public presentations and panel discussion event has been organised in partnership with the Global Farm Platform, FSLRA and the Cabot Institute.

The international conference Steps to sustainable livestock will be hosted by the University of Bristol from 12-15 January 2016.

About the Global Farm Platform
The Global Farm Platform partnership brings together the University of Alberta (Canada), the University of Bristol (UK), the CGIAR International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) Kansas State University (USA), Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University (India), the Instituto National de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA, Uruguay), The University of Leeds (UK), Massey University (New Zealand), Penn State University (USA), Rothamsted Research (UK), the Small Scale Livestock and Livelihoods Programme (Malawi), the University of Sydney (Australia), the University of Western Australia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and Zhejiang University (China). The key partners already have a strong history of working together, and are each linked to a number of relevant institutions that will make further valuable contributions to the Global Farm Platform.

About Cabot Institute
The Cabot Institute carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainties in a changing environment.  We drive new research in the interconnected areas of climate change, natural hazards, water and food security, low carbon energy, and future cities. Our research fuses rigorous statistical and numerical modelling with a deep understanding of social, environmental and engineered systems – past, present and future. We seek to engage wider society by listening to, exploring with, and challenging our stakeholders to develop a shared response to 21st century challenges.


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