Animals farmed: BSE in Brazil, UK pork crisis and radical Dutch plan to cut livestock numbers

Animals farmed: BSE in Brazil, UK pork crisis and radical Dutch plan to cut livestock numbers

Welcome to our monthly roundup of the biggest issues in farming and food production, with must-read reports from around the web

Brazil has confirmed two cases of BSE, or mad cow disease, and has suspended beef exports to China. Ireland, a smaller beef supplier to China, reported a case of mad cow disease in May last year, but has not yet been able to resume exports. However, the Brazilian ban is not expected to last for long, with Brazil accounting for 40% of China’s beef imports.

Greenhouse gases released by New Zealand’s 6 million-cow dairy industry have hit an all-time high. Agriculture made up more than half of the country’s total industry and household emissions. The increase continued a longer-term rise in emissions from New Zealand agriculture, up 5.5% in the past decade.

Land-based fish farming has a bright future, according to supporters, despite setbacks suffered by one of its major operators, Atlantic Sapphire. The company lost 500 tonnes of fish this year after technical issues. It also feared running out of oxygen, which had been bought up by US hospitals hit by a new wave of coronavirus infections. Land-based farms have no exposure to the ocean other than fast-flowing, temperature-controlled water, which is pumped in and out of the fish tanks around the clock.

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