A glance at the 21st-century livestock industry and breeding


  • Arth David Sol Valmoria Ortega University of Debrecen, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences and Environmental Management, Institute of Animal Science, Department of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Böszörményi street 138, 4032, Debrecen, Hungary. University of Debrecen, Doctoral School of Animal Science. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7665-8955



Palabras clave:

Poultry, livestock, animal production, reproduction trends.


The livestock and poultry industry plays a significant role in providing food to the global population, which is a great and constant challenge for the said industry. The continuous rise in the global population threatens our natural resources and poses a great threat to food security and environmental sustainability. The excessive use of our natural resources and the increase of animal population to satisfy the ever-increasing demand for animal protein greatly contributes to climate change which then, in turn, jeopardizes the efficiency, reproductive performance, and productivity of food animals. Through the years, researchers in the field of animal nutrition and animal breeding constantly seek the best solution to mitigate these problems with due consideration to animal welfare. This led to the development of management tools and technologies such as precision livestock farming and biotechnology which improved the efficiency and productivity of food animals. Although these technologies greatly influence the success of global animal production, problems associated with food animal production is still evident. Thus, it is the objective of this paper to summarize such problems and prospects associated with cattle, pig, and poultry production and trends regarding their reproduction.


Roser M, Ritchie H, Ortiz-Ospina E. World Population Growth. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. [Internet] 2013. [Updated May 2019]. Accessed on April 2020. Available from: https://ourworldindata.org/world-population-growth.

Ritchie H, Roser M. Meat and Dairy Production. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. [Internet] 2017. [Updated November 2019] accessed on April 2020. Available from: https://ourworldindata.org/meat-production.

FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations] . Food Outlook - Biannual Report on Global Food Markets: June 2020. Food Outlook, 1. Rome. [Internet] 2020a Accessed on September 22, 2021. Available from https://doi.org/10.4060/ca9509en.

Kreshner, E. Largest meat producing nations in the world. [Internet] 2020. Accessed on September 24, 2021 from https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/largest-meat-producing-nations-in-the-world.html.

FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations]. Visual data of Production of quantities of eggs, in shell by country. [Internet] 2021a. Accessed on September 24, 2021 from http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QCL/visualize.

FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations]. Dairy market review: Overview of global dairy market developments in 2020. [Internet] 2021b. Accessed on September 24, 2021 from http://www.fao.org/3/cb4230en/cb4230en.pdf.

FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations]. Visual data of live animals. [Internet] 2020b. Accessed on April 2020. Available from: http://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#data/QA/visualize.

OECD/FAO [Economic Co-operation Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations] OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2021-2030, OECD Publishing, Paris. [Internet] 2021c Accessed on September 23, 2021 from https://doi.org/10.1787/19428846-en. .

Poore J, Nemecek T. Reducing food's environmental impacts through producers and consumers (vol 363, eaaw9908, 2019). Science. 2019;363(6430):939-.https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaq0216.

Ritchie H, Roser M. Environmental impacts of food production. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. [Internet] 2020. accessed on April 2020. Available from: https://ourworldindata.org/environmental-impacts-of-food.

MacLeod M, Gerber P, Mottet A, Tempio G, Falcucci A, Opio C, Vellinga T, Henderson B, Steinfeld H. Greenhouse gas emissions from pig and chicken supply chains – a global life cycle assessment. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013. 172 p.http://www.fao.org/3/i3460e/i3460e.pdf.

Opio C, Gerber P, Mottet A, Falcucci A, Tempio G, MacLeod M, Vellinga T, Henderson B, Steinfeld H. Greenhouse gas emissions from ruminant supply chains – a global life cycle assessment. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013. 191 p.http://www.fao.org/3/i3461e/i3461e.pdf.

Leroy JL, Van Soom A, Opsomer G, Goovaerts IG, Bols PE. Reduced fertility in high‐yielding dairy cows: are the oocyte and embryo in danger? Part II mechanisms linking nutrition and reduced oocyte and embryo quality in high‐yielding dairy cows. Reproduction in domestic animals. 2008 Oct;43(5):623-32.https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0531.2007.00961.x.

Sbardella M, de Genova Gaya L. Unfavourable side implications of animal breeding in livestock species: a review. Archivos de zootecnia. 2010;59:157-68.

FASS [Federation of animal science societies. Guide for the care and use of agricultural animals in research and teaching. 2010. Chapter 6 to 7. Third edition. Pp 61-85. ISBN: 978-1-884706-11-0.

Jordan ER. Effects of heat stress on reproduction. Journal of Dairy Science. 2003 Jun 1;86:E104-14. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.S0022-0302(03)74043-0.

Wolfenson D, Roth Z. Impact of heat stress on cow reproduction and fertility. Animal Frontiers. 2019 Jan;9(1):32-8. https://doi.org/10.1093/af/vfy027.

Grossi G, Goglio P, Vitali A, Williams AG. Livestock and climate change: impact of livestock on climate and mitigation strategies. Animal Frontiers. 2019 Jan;9(1):69-76. https://doi.org/10.1093/af/vfy034.

CM Dekkers J. Application of genomics tools to animal breeding. Current genomics. 2012 May 1;13(3):207-12. https://doi.org/10.2174/138920212800543057.

Eriksson S, Jonas E, Rydhmer L, Röcklinsberg H. Invited review: Breeding and ethical perspectives on genetically modified and genome edited cattle. Journal of dairy science. 2018 Jan 1;101(1):1-7. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-12962.

EFSA [European Food Safety Authority]. Genetically modified animals. [Internet] 2017. Accessed on May 20, 2020. Available from: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/genetically-modified-animals.

Bengtsson C, Stålhammar H, Strandberg E, Eriksson S, Fikse WF. Association of genomically enhanced and parent average breeding values with cow performance in Nordic dairy cattle. Journal of dairy science. 2020 Jul 1;103(7):6383-91. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2019-17963.

Hutchison JL, Cole JB, Bickhart DM. Use of young bulls in the United States. Journal of dairy science. 2014 May 1;97(5):3213-20. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2013-7525.

Mrode R, Ojango JM, Okeyo AM, Mwacharo JM. Genomic selection and use of molecular tools in breeding programs for indigenous and crossbred cattle in developing countries: current status and future prospects. Frontiers in genetics. 2019 Jan 9;9:694. https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2018.00694.

FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization]. Per capita Consumption of pig meat. [Internet] 2020c. Accessed on May 20, 2020. Available from: http://www.fao.org/3/y4252e/y4252e05b.htm.

Evans L, Britt J, Kirkbride C, Levis D, Beck L, Hurtgen JP, Singleton WL, Swartley GR. Troubleshooting swine reproductive failure.https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/207445/MN2500_AGFO_2669.pdf?sequence=1.

De Rensis F, Ziecik AJ, Kirkwood RN. Seasonal infertility in gilts and sows: Aetiology, clinical implications and treatments. Theriogenology. 2017 Jul 1;96:111-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2017.04.004.

Takahashi M. Heat stress on reproductive function and fertility in mammals. Reproductive medicine and biology. 2012 Jan 1;11(1):37-47. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12522-011-0105-6.

Merks JW, Mathur PK, Knol EF. New phenotypes for new breeding goals in pigs. Animal. 2012 Jan 1;6(4):535-43. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1751731111002266.

Wu G, Bazer FW. Application of new biotechnologies for improvements in swine nutrition and pork production. Journal of animal science and biotechnology. 2019 Dec;10(1):1-6. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40104-019-0337-6.

Ormandy EH, Dale J, Griffin G. Genetic engineering of animals: ethical issues, including welfare concerns. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 2011 May;52(5):544. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc3078015/.

Fenwick N, Griffin G, Gauthier C. The welfare of animals used in science: How the “Three Rs” ethic guides improvements. The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 2009 May;50(5):523. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2671878/.

FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization]. Gateway to poultry production and products. [Internet] 2020d. Accessed on May 21, 2020. Available from http://www.fao.org/poultry-production-products/production/poultry-species/en/.

Saxena, V.K. and Kolluri, G. Selection methods in poultry breeding: From genetics to genomics, Application of Genetics and Genomics in Poultry Science, Xiao jun Liu, Intech Open. 2018. September [Internet] Accessed on September 24, 2021 from https://www.intechopen.com/chapters/62271. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.77966.

Pym R. Poultry genetics and breeding in developing countries. Poultry Development Review FAO. 2013:80-3. Accessed on May 21, 2020. Available from: http://www.fao.org/3/i3531e/i3531e.pdf#page=86.

PSA [Philippine Statistics Authority]. Chicken Situation report. [Internet] 2020. Accessed on May 21, 2020. Available from: https://psa.gov.ph/livestock-poultry-iprs/chicken/inventory.

Eurostat. Agricultural Production-Livestock meat. [Internet] 2020. Accessed on May 21, 2020a. Available from: https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Agricultural_production__livestock_and_meat#Livestock_population.

Eurostat. Milk and Milk products statistics. [Internet] 2020b. Accessed on May 21, 2020. Available from:https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Milk_and_milk_product_statistics#Milk_production.