The use of marginal abatement curves in assessing environmental impacts of livestock health
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Improving livestock health offers both private and social benefits. Among the potential social benefits is a reduction in the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from livestock production. Reductions in emissions intensity (the amount of GHG produced per kilogram of meat, milk or eggs) may occur, as improving health can lead to improvements in the parameters that emissions intensity is sensitive to, such as (for ruminants): maternal fertility and abortion rates, calf and lamb mortality rates and growth rates, milk yields and feed conversion rates. However, improved health is not yet widely recognised as a GHG mitigation measure due, in part, to difficulties in reliably quantifying the financial and GHG effects of disease control options. This paper discusses how the GHG effects of disease control can be quantified and included in a marginal abatement cost curve (MACC). To illustrate some of the challenges, it draws on the experience of including health measures in the most recent (2015) agricultural MACCs in the United Kingdom.
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
OIE Scientific and Technical Review