Livestock is commonly defined as domesticated animals raised in an agricultural setting to produce labor and commodities such as meat, eggs, milk, fur, leather, and wool. The term is sometimes used to refer solely to those that are bred for consumption, while other times it refers only to farmed ruminants, such as cattle and goats.Horses are considered livestock in the United States. The USDA uses livestock similarly to some uses of the term “red meat”, in which it specifically refers to all the mammal animals kept in this setting to be used as commodities. The USDA mentions pork, veal, beef, and lamb are all classified as livestock and all livestock is considered to be red meats. Poultry and fish are not included in the category.
Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres (110 ft) and have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The category includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal often refers only to non-human animals. The study of non-human animals is known as zoology.
In economics, a commodity is an economic good or service that has full or substantial fungibility: that is, the market treats instances of the good as equivalent or nearly so with no regard to who produced them.
Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since prehistoric times. The advent of civilization allowed the domestication of animals such as chickens, sheep, rabbits, pigs and cattle. This eventually led to their use in meat production on an industrial scale with the aid of slaughterhouses.
The breeding, maintenance, and slaughter of livestock, known as animal husbandry, is a component of modern agriculture that has been practiced in many cultures since humanity's transition to farming from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animal husbandry practices have varied widely across cultures and time periods. Originally, livestock were not confined by fences or enclosures, but these practices have largely shifted to intensive animal farming, sometimes referred to as "factory farming". Now, over 99% of livestock are raised on factory farms.These practices increase yield of the various commercial outputs, but have also led to negative impacts on animal welfare and the environment. Livestock production continues to play a major economic and cultural role in numerous rural communities.
Animal husbandry is the branch of agriculture concerned with animals that are raised for meat, fibre, milk, eggs, or other products. It includes day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of livestock.
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.
A hunter-gatherer is a human living in a society in which most or all food is obtained by foraging. Hunter-gatherer societies stand in contrast to agricultural societies, which rely mainly on domesticated species.
Livestock as a word was first used between 1650 and 1660, as a compound word combining the words "live" and "stock".In some periods, "cattle" and "livestock" have been used interchangeably. Today, the modern meaning of cattle is domesticated bovines, while livestock has a wider sense.
In linguistics, a compound is a lexeme that consists of more than one stem. Compounding, composition or nominal composition is the process of word formation that creates compound lexemes. That is, in familiar terms, compounding occurs when two or more words or signs are joined to make one longer word or sign. The meaning of the compound may be similar to or different from the meaning of its components in isolation. The component stems of a compound may be of the same part of speech—as in the case of the English word footpath, composed of the two nouns foot and path—or they may belong to different parts of speech, as in the case of the English word blackbird, composed of the adjective black and the noun bird. With very few exceptions, English compound words are stressed on their first component stem.
Cattle—colloquially cows—are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos taurus.
United States federal legislation defines the term to make specified agricultural commodities eligible or ineligible for a program or activity. For example, the Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-78, Title IX) defines livestock only as cattle, swine, and sheep, while the 1988 disaster assistance legislation defined the term as "cattle, sheep, goats, swine, poultry (including egg-producing poultry), equine animals used for food or in the production of food, fish used for food, and other animals designated by the Secretary."
The Livestock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999 requires large packers and importers to report to USDA the details of all transactions involving purchases of livestock and imported boxed lamb cuts, and the details of all transactions involving domestic and export sales of boxed beef cuts, sales of domestic and imported boxed lamb cuts, and sales of lamb carcasses. Additional provisions impose, in turn, new data reporting requirements on USDA, including more frequent price reports along with new monthly information on retail prices for meat and poultry products.
Deadstock is defined in contradistinction to livestock as "animals that have died before slaughter, sometimes from illness or disease". It is illegal in many countries, such as Canada, to sell or process meat from dead animals for human consumption.
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Its southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
Animal-rearing originated during the cultural transition to settled farming communities from hunter-gatherer lifestyles. Animals are domesticated when their breeding and living conditions are controlled by humans. Over time, the collective behaviour, lifecycle and physiology of livestock have changed radically. Many modern farm animals are unsuited to life in the wild.
In biology, a biological life cycle is a series of changes in form that an organism undergoes, returning to the starting state. "The concept is closely related to those of the life history, development and ontogeny, but differs from them in stressing renewal." Transitions of form may involve growth, asexual reproduction, or sexual reproduction.
Physiology is the scientific study of the functions and mechanisms which work within a living system.
The dog was domesticated early; dogs appear in Europe and the Far East from about 15,000 years ago.Goats and sheep were domesticated in multiple events sometime between 11,000 and 5,000 years ago in Southwest Asia. Pigs were domesticated by 8,500 BC in the Near East and 6,000 BC in China. Domestication of the horse dates to around 4000 BC. Cattle have been domesticated since approximately 10,500 years ago. Chickens and other poultry may have been domesticated around 7000 BC.
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The term "livestock" is nebulous and may be defined narrowly or broadly. Broadly, livestock refers to any breed or population of animal kept by humans for a useful, commercial purpose. This can mean domestic animals, semidomestic animals, or captive wild animals. Semidomesticated refers to animals which are only lightly domesticated or of disputed status. These populations may also be in the process of domestication.
|Animal / Type||Domestication status||Wild ancestor||Time of first captivity, domestication||Area of first captivity, domestication||Current commercial uses||Picture||Ref|
| Alpaca |
|domestic||Vicuña||Between 5000 BC and 4000 BC||Andes||Alpaca fiber, meat|
| Addax |
|domestic||Addax||2500 BCE||Egypt||Meat, hides|
| Bali cattle |
|domestic||Banteng||Unknown||Southeast Asia, Bali||Meat, milk, draught|
| Bison |
|captive (see also Beefalo)||N/A||Late 19th century||North America||Meat, leather|
| Camel |
|domestic||Wild dromedary and Bactrian camel||Between 4000 BC and 1400 BC||Asia||Mount, pack animal, meat, milk, camel hair|
| Cattle |
|domestic||Aurochs||6000 BC||Southwest Asia, South Asia, North Africa||Meat (beef, veal), milk, leather, draught|
| Capybara |
|captive||Capybara||Unknown||South America||Meat, skins, pet|
| Collared peccary |
|captive||Collared peccary||Unknown||Brazil||Meat, skins, pet|
| Deer |
|captive||N/A||First century AD||UK||Meat (venison), leather, antlers, antler velvet|
| Donkey |
|domestic||African wild ass||4000 BC||Egypt||Mount, pack animal, draught, meat, milk|
| Eland |
|domestic||Common eland, Giant eland||Unknown||South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, West Africa||Meat, milk, leather, hides, horns|
| Elk |
|captive||Elk||1990s||North America||Meat, antlers, leather, hides|
| Fallow deer |
|semidomestic||Fallow deer||9th century BC||Mediterranean Basin||Meat, antlers, hides, ornamentation|
| Gayal |
|domestic||Gaur||Unknown||Southeast Asia||Meat, draught|
| Goat |
|domestic||Wild goat||8000 BC||Southwest Asia||Milk, meat, wool, leather, light draught, pet|
| Guinea pig |
|domestic||Cavia tschudii||5000 BC||South America||Meat, pet|
| Greater cane rat |
|captive||Greater cane rat||Unknown||West Africa||Meat|
| Greater kudu |
|captive||Greater kudu||Unknown||South Africa||Meat, hides, horns, leather, pet|
| Horse |
|domestic||Wild horse||4000 BC||Eurasian Steppes||Mount, draught, milk, meat, pet, pack animal|
| Llama |
|domestic||Guanaco||3500 BC||Andes||Pack animal, draught, meat, fiber|
| Mule |
|domestic||Sterile Hybrid offspring of Jack donkey x mare (female horse)||Mount, pack animal, draught|
| Moose |
|domestic||Moose||1940s||Russia, Sweden, Finland, Alaska||Meat, milk, antlers, research, draft|
| Muskox |
|domestic||Muskox||1960s||Alaska||Meat, wool, milk|
| Pig |
|domestic||Wild boar||7000 BC||Eastern Anatolia||Meat (pork), leather, pet, mount, research|
| Rabbit |
|domestic||Wild rabbit||AD 400-900||France||Meat, fur, leather, pet, research|
| Reindeer |
|semidomestic||Reindeer||3000 BC||Northern Russia||Meat, leather, antlers, milk, draught|
| Sika deer |
|domestic||Sika deer||Unknown||Japan, China||Meat, antlers, hides, leather, pet, tourism|
| Scimitar oryx |
|domestic||Scimitar oryx||2320-2150 BC||Egypt||Meat, sacrifice[ citation needed ], horns, hides, leather|
| Sheep |
|domestic||Asiatic mouflon sheep||Between 11000 and 9000 BC||Southwest Asia||Wool, milk, leather, meat (lamb and mutton)|
| Thorold's deer |
|captive||Thorold's deer||Unknown||China||Meat, antlers|
| White-tailed deer |
|captive||White-tailed deer||Unknown||West Virginia, Florida, Colombia||Meat, antlers, hides, pet|
| Water buffalo |
|domestic||Wild Asian water buffalo (Arni)||4000 BC||South Asia||Mount, draught, meat, milk|
| Yak |
|domestic||Wild yak||2500 BC||Tibet, Nepal||Meat, milk, fiber, mount, pack animal, draught|
| Zebu |
|domestic||Aurochs||8000 BC||India||Meat, milk, draught, hides|
Traditionally, animal husbandry was part of the subsistence farmer's way of life, producing not only the food needed by the family but also the fuel, fertiliser, clothing, transport and draught power. Killing the animal for food was a secondary consideration, and wherever possible its products, such as wool, eggs, milk and blood (by the Maasai) were harvested while the animal was still alive.In the traditional system of transhumance, people and livestock moved seasonally between fixed summer and winter pastures; in montane regions the summer pasture was up in the mountains, the winter pasture in the valleys.
Animals can be kept extensively or intensively. Extensive systems involve animals roaming at will, or under the supervision of a herdsman, often for their protection from predators. Ranching in the Western United States involves large herds of cattle grazing widely over public and private lands.Similar cattle stations are found in South America, Australia and other places with large areas of land and low rainfall. Ranching systems have been used for sheep, deer, ostrich, emu, llama and alpaca. In the uplands of the United Kingdom, sheep are turned out on the fells in spring and graze the abundant mountain grasses untended, being brought to lower altitudes late in the year, with supplementary feeding being provided in winter.
In rural locations, pigs and poultry can obtain much of their nutrition from scavenging, and in African communities, hens may live for months without being fed, and still produce one or two eggs a week.At the other extreme, in the more developed parts of the world, animals are often intensively managed; dairy cows may be kept in zero-grazing conditions with all their forage brought to them; beef cattle may be kept in high density feedlots; pigs may be housed in climate-controlled buildings and never go outdoors; poultry may be reared in barns and kept in cages as laying birds under lighting-controlled conditions. In between these two extremes are semi-intensive, often family run farms where livestock graze outside for much of the year, silage or hay is made to cover the times of year when the grass stops growing, and fertiliser, feed and other inputs are bought onto the farm from outside.
Livestock farmers have suffered from wild animal predation and theft by rustlers. In North America, animals such as the gray wolf, grizzly bear, cougar, and coyote are sometimes considered a threat to livestock. In Eurasia and Africa, predators include the wolf, leopard, tiger, lion, dhole, Asiatic black bear, crocodile, spotted hyena, and other carnivores. In South America, feral dogs, jaguars, anacondas, and spectacled bears are threats to livestock. In Australia, the dingo, fox, and wedge-tailed eagle are common predators, with an additional threat from domestic dogs that may kill in response to a hunting instinct, leaving the carcass uneaten.
Good husbandry, proper feeding, and hygiene are the main contributors to animal health on the farm, bringing economic benefits through maximised production. When, despite these precautions, animals still become sick, they are treated with veterinary medicines, by the farmer and the veterinarian. In the European Union, when farmers treat their own animals, they are required to follow the guidelines for treatment and to record the treatments given.Animals are susceptible to a number of diseases and conditions that may affect their health. Some, like classical swine fever and scrapie are specific to one type of stock, while others, like foot-and-mouth disease affect all cloven-hoofed animals. Where the condition is serious, governments impose regulations on import and export, on the movement of stock, quarantine restrictions and the reporting of suspected cases. Vaccines are available against certain diseases, and antibiotics are widely used where appropriate. At one time, antibiotics were routinely added to certain compound foodstuffs to promote growth, but this practice is now frowned on in many countries because of the risk that it may lead to antibiotic resistance. Animals living under intensive conditions are particularly prone to internal and external parasites; increasing numbers of sea lice are affecting farmed salmon in Scotland. Reducing the parasite burdens of livestock results in increased productivity and profitability.
Since many livestock are herd animals, they were historically driven to market "on the hoof" to a town or other central location. The method is still used in some parts of the world.
Truck transport is now common in developed countries.
Local and regional livestock auctions and commodity markets facilitate trade in livestock. In other areas, livestock may be bought and sold in a bazaar, such as may be found in many parts of Central Asia.
In developing countries, providing access to markets has encouraged farmers to invest in livestock, with the result being improved livelihoods. For example, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has worked in Zimbabwe to help farmers make their most of their livestock herds.
In stock shows, farmers bring their best livestock to compete with one another.
Animal husbandry has a significant impact on the world environment. It is responsible for somewhere between 20 and 33% of the fresh water usage in the world,and livestock, and the production of feed for them, occupy about a third of the earth's ice-free land. Livestock production is a contributing factor in species extinction, desertification, and habitat destruction. Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in various ways. Habitat is destroyed by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, while predators and herbivores are frequently targeted and hunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits; for example, animal husbandry is responsible for up to 91% of the deforestation in the Amazon region. In addition, livestock produce greenhouse gases. Cows produce some 570 million cubic metres of methane per day, that accounts for from 35 to 40% of the overall methane emissions of the planet. Livestock is responsible for 65% of all human-related emissions of the powerful and long-lived greenhouse gas nitrous oxide. As a result, ways of mitigating animal husbandry's environmental impact are being studied. Strategies include using biogas from manure.
The value of global livestock production in 2013 has been estimated at about 883 billion dollars, (constant 2005-2006 dollars).
Livestock provide a variety of food and nonfood products; the latter include leather, wool, pharmaceuticals, bone products, industrial protein, and fats. For many abattoirs, very little animal biomass may be wasted at slaughter. Even intestinal contents removed at slaughter may be recovered for use as fertilizer. Livestock manure helps maintain the fertility of grazing lands. Manure is commonly collected from barns and feeding areas to fertilize cropland. In some places, animal manure is used as fuel, either directly (as in some developing countries), or indirectly (as a source of methane for heating or for generating electricity). In regions where machine power is limited, some classes of livestock are used as draft stock, not only for tillage and other on-farm use, but also for transport of people and goods. In 1997, livestock provided energy for between an estimated 25 and 64% of cultivation energy in the world's irrigated systems, and that 300 million draft animals were used globally in small-scale agriculture.
Although livestock production serves as a source of income, it can provide additional economic values for rural families, often serving as a major contributor to food security and economic security. Livestock can serve as insurance against riskand is an economic buffer (of income and/or food supply) in some regions and some economies (e.g., during some African droughts). However, its use as a buffer may sometimes be limited where alternatives are present, which may reflect strategic maintenance of insurance in addition to a desire to retain productive assets. Even for some livestock owners in developed nations, livestock can serve as a kind of insurance. Some crop growers may produce livestock as a strategy for diversification of their income sources, to reduce risks related to weather, markets and other factors.
Many studies[ which? ] have found evidence of the social, as well as economic, importance of livestock in developing countries and in regions of rural poverty, and such evidence is not confined to pastoral and nomadic societies.
Social values in developed countries can also be considerable. For example, in a study of livestock ranching permitted on national forest land in New Mexico, USA, it was concluded that "ranching maintains traditional values and connects families to ancestral lands and cultural heritage", and that a "sense of place, attachment to land, and the value of preserving open space were common themes". "The importance of land and animals as means of maintaining culture and way of life figured repeatedly in permittee responses, as did the subjects of responsibility and respect for land, animals, family, and community."
In the US, profit tends to rank low among motivations for involvement in livestock ranching.Instead, family, tradition and a desired way of life tend to be major motivators for ranch purchase, and ranchers "historically have been willing to accept low returns from livestock production."
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to agriculture:
A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock. A farmer might own the farmed land or might work as a laborer on land owned by others, but in advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands. However, in the not so distant past, a farmer was a person who promotes or improves the growth of by labor and attention, land or crops or raises animals.
A farm is an area of land that is devoted primarily to agricultural processes with the primary objective of producing food and other crops; it is the basic facility in food production. The name is used for specialised units such as arable farms, vegetable farms, fruit farms, dairy, pig and poultry farms, and land used for the production of natural fibres, biofuel and other commodities. It includes ranches, feedlots, orchards, plantations and estates, smallholdings and hobby farms, and includes the farmhouse and agricultural buildings as well as the land. In modern times the term has been extended so as to include such industrial operations as wind farms and fish farms, both of which can operate on land or sea.
Intensive farming involves various types of agriculture with higher levels of input and output per cubic unit of agricultural land area. It is characterized by a low fallow ratio, higher use of inputs such as capital and labour, and higher crop yields per cubic unit land area. This contrasts with traditional agriculture, in which the inputs per unit land are lower. The term "intensive" involves various meanings, some of which refer to organic farming methods, and others that refer to nonorganic and industrial methods. Intensive animal farming involves either large numbers of animals raised on limited land, usually concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), often referred to as factory farms, or managed intensive rotational grazing (MIRG), which has both organic and non-organic types. Both increase the yields of food and fiber per acre as compared to traditional animal husbandry. In CAFO, feed is brought to the seldom-moved animals, while in MIRG the animals are repeatedly moved to fresh forage.
Pasture is a concrete spatial area where farmers keep livestock for grazing.
Pastoralism is the branch of agriculture concerned with the raising of livestock. It is animal husbandry: the care, tending and use of animals such as cattle, camels, goats, yaks, llamas, reindeer, horses and sheep.
Pastoral farming is a form of agriculture aimed at producing livestock, rather than growing crops. Examples include dairy farming, raising beef cattle, and raising sheep for wool. In contrast, arable farming concentrates on crops rather than livestock. Finally, Mixed farming incorporates livestock and crops on a single farm. Some mixed farmers grow crops purely as fodder for their livestock; some crop farmers grow fodder and sell it to pastoral farmers.
Canada is one of the largest agricultural producers and exporters in the world. As with other developed nations, the proportion of the population and GDP devoted to agriculture fell dramatically over the 20th century but it remains an important element of the Canadian economy. A wide range of agriculture is practised in Canada, from sprawling wheat fields of the prairies to summer produce of the Okanagan valley. In the federal government, overview of Canadian agriculture is the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
Agriculture in Saskatchewan is the production of various food, feed, or fiber commodities to fulfill domestic and international human and animal sustenance needs. The newest agricultural economy to be developed in renewable biofuel production or agricultural biomass which is marketed as ethanol or biodiesel. Plant cultivation and livestock production have abandoned subsistence agricultural practices in favor of intensive technological farming resulting in cash crops which contribute to the economy of Saskatchewan. The particular commodity produced is dependent upon its particular biogeography or ecozone of Geography of Saskatchewan. Agricultural techniques and activities have evolved over the years. The first nation nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle and the early immigrant ox and plow farmer proving up on his quarter section of land in no way resemble the present farmer operating huge amounts of land or livestock with their attendant technological mechanization. Challenges to the future of Saskatchewan agriculture include developing sustainable water management strategies for a cyclical drought prone climate in south western Saskatchewan, updating dryland farming techniques, stabilizing organic definitions or protocols and the decision to grow, or not to grow genetically modified foods. Domestically and internationally, some commodities have faced increased scrutiny from disease and the ensuing marketing issues.
Intensive animal farming or industrial livestock production, also known as factory farming, is a production approach towards farm animals in order to maximize production output, while minimizing production costs. Intensive farming refers to animal husbandry, the keeping of livestock such as cattle, poultry, and fish at higher stocking densities than is usually the case with other forms of animal agriculture—a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses. The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption. There are issues regarding whether factory farming is sustainable or ethical.
The environmental impact of meat production varies because of the wide variety of agricultural practices employed around the world. All agricultural practices have been found to have a variety of effects on the environment. Some of the environmental effects that have been associated with meat production are pollution through fossil fuel usage, animal methane, effluent waste, and water and land consumption. Meat is obtained through a variety of methods, including organic farming, free range farming, intensive livestock production, subsistence agriculture, hunting, and fishing.
Farm water, also known as agricultural water, is water committed for use in the production of food and fiber. On average, 80 percent of the fresh water withdrawn from rivers and groundwater is used to produce food and other agricultural products. Farm water may include water used in the irrigation of crops or the watering of livestock.
Manure is organic matter, mostly derived from animal feces except in the case of green manure, which can be used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Manures contribute to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients, such as nitrogen, that are utilised by bacteria, fungi and other organisms in the soil. Higher organisms then feed on the fungi and bacteria in a chain of life that comprises the soil food web.
The history of the domesticated sheep goes back to between 11000 and 9000 BC, and the domestication of the wild mouflon in ancient Mesopotamia. Sheep are among the first animals to have been domesticated by humans, and there is evidence of sheep farming in Iranian statuary dating to that time period. These sheep were primarily raised for meat, milk, and skins. Woolly sheep began to be developed around 6000 BC in Iran, and cultures such as the Persians relied on sheep's wool for trading. They were then imported to Africa and Europe via trading.
Being a country that has a largely rural and agriculture-based industry, animal husbandry plays an important role in the economy of Pakistan and is a major source of livelihood for many farmers. It is estimated that there are between 30 and 35 million people in Pakistan's current labour force who are engaged in livestocks. While the agricultural practice is prevalent throughout the entire country, it is more common in the fertile provinces of Punjab and Sindh, which are traditionally the main areas of agriculture and farming activity. In 1998, the livestock industry was contributing 37% to the total capacity of national agricultural output and 9% to the GDP.
The business of livestock farming is prominent in the Basque Country (Spain). The climate of this region is ideal for raising cattle and other livestock and is classified as Atlantic, or warm and rainy. The most common breeds of livestock raised in this region include beef cattle, dairy cattle, sheep, goats, and horses. These animals are most often raised in mixed farms, or farms that contain a combination of these types of animals and not just one type exclusively. Although the number of livestock farms notably decreased between the years of 1999 and 2009, the number of animals raised on each remaining farm increased dramatically, as discussed in further detail below. In 2006, there were estimated to be about 19,000 Basque farms that involved the raising of livestock.
Agriculture in Wales has in the past been a major part of the economy of Wales, a largely rural country that forms part of the United Kingdom. Wales is mountainous and has a mild, wet climate. This results in only a small proportion of the land area being suitable for arable cropping, but grass for the grazing of livestock is present in abundance. As a proportion of the national economy, the importance of agriculture has become much reduced; a high proportion of the population now live in the towns and cities in the south of the country and tourism has become an important form of income in the countryside and on the coast. Arable cropping is limited to the flatter parts and elsewhere dairying and livestock farming predominate.
Animal genetic resources for food and agriculture (AnGR) are a subset of genetic resources and a specific element of agricultural biodiversity. The term animal genetic resources refers specifically to the genetic resources of avian and mammalian species, which are used for food and agriculture purposes. Further terms referring to AnGR are "farm animal genetic resources" or "livestock diversity".
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