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Impact of Climate Change on

    Animal Health



Dated - 5th June 2012 By – Dr. D. Borkotoky





Changing climate is likely to have a powerful impact on animal health and well-being. All animal populations depend on supplies of feed, water, shelter, freedom from infectious disease and comfort bestowed by climate stability.


Moreover the livestock sector is of vital importance to the rural economy of developing countries and at the same time sensitive and vulnerable to climate change. Human activities are changing atmospheric composition and thereby causing global climate change. According to International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), by 2100 the increase in global average surface temperature may be between 1.8° C and 4.0° C. With increases of 1.5° C to 2.5° C, approximately 20 to 30 per cent of plant and animal species are expected to be at risk of extinction (FAO, 2007b) with severe consequences for food security in developing countries.

Change in fodder and grassland productivity due to climate change will have a far reaching influence on meat, dairy, leather wool and allied industries. With the increase in temperature and carbon-di-oxide there will be alteration of growth and composition of fodder, rangeland and grasslands. Increasing lignifications of plants due raise of temperature will reduce in digestibility, particularly in the ruminants. The heat stress and lack of water suffered by the animal will certainly reduce the performance of livestock.




These outcomes are just the tip of an iceberg. Efforts should focus on reduction of GHG emissions that demands commitment and pledge from the level of individual inhabitant of the planet earth to the international podium. Reforestation and restoration of degraded lands, selective breeding of livestock and better feeding, housing and manure management is a must to keep pace with the market demand and at the same sustainable livestock production.