The assessment of the intensive poultry rearing farms within the context of the IPPC Directive (B)



Poultry production in intensive farms has been steadily increasing since the 1970s. This has occurred through a number of factors including increased feed supply through greater use of nitrogen (N) fertilizer and increased use of supplementary forage feeds. Potentially, the integration of low-protein forage (e.g. maize), to reduce dietary-N concentration, or management practices (e.g. deep layer, cage tier), to reduce excreta to waste, water and soil, can mitigate environmental N emissions and increase efficiency. However, effects of these mitigation practices on resource use efficiency and environmental emissions, such as greenhouse gas emissions and N leaching, are becoming more and more substantial, as the production on wider basis increased. This is one of the reasons for including the large scale poultry farms on the list of the economical activities with significant impact on environment, being subjected to more and stricter regulations. The direct and indirect environmental impacts of poultry farming are currently being investigated by using simulation modelling. The model simulation using a life cycle assessment approach indicates that N fertilizer increases production and economic efficiency but decreases environmental efficiency through predicted increases in N leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. In contrast, using forage increases the use of land and production efficiency, with a decrease in N leaching and no increase in greenhouse gas emissions (per capita). A comparison of an average poultry farm applying the Best Available Technologies versus an older technology is provided, together with considerations regarding the mitigation of impacts on various scales.


intensive farms of poultry rearing; assessment of life cycle; mathematical modelling

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