Sub-Saharan Africa study: Healthier cattle = more meat and milk but lower per unit GHG emissions
Previous studies using models have shown that in theory, improving the health of livestock increases productivity while decreasing relative emissions intensity (EI). A similar study in East Africa has shown the same trend. With the removal of the endemic disease trypanosomiasis, cattle on East African farms increased productivity and decreased EI per unit of protein at between 2 and 4%, depending on the production system. In West Africa, the removal of trypanosomiasis led to decreased EI in some systems but increased EI in others, because when the disease was removed more males were kept and used for draft purposes.
The study was funded by the International Livestock Research Institute under Global Research Alliance Partner CGIAR (CCAFS), and included Animal Health & GHG Emissions Intensity Network Champion, Dr Michael Macleod (SRUC), and Network Coordinator, Dr Timothy Robinson (ILRI).