Assessing the Sustainability of Pork Production Systems and Their Effect on Animal Welfare and the Environment

  • Asihwarya Sharma Assistant Professor , School of Agricultural Sciences, Jaipur National University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Suphiya Parveen Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, School of Sciences, JAIN (Deemed-to-be University), Karnataka, Bangalore, India
  • Smita Sarma Assistant Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Assam down town University, Guwahati, Assam, India
Keywords: Q-PorkChains, Green house gas, Organic, Adapted conventional, Live weight


The objective of the study was to evaluating the sustainability of hog production systems and how they affect environmental protection and welfare of animals. The Q-PorkChains study evaluated the ecological impacts of 15 pig farming techniques using life cycle analysis. Each of the five states' two conventional and one non-conventional method was analyzed. Evaluations of five to ten farms from each system provided the information for the computations. Conventional (C), adapted conventional (AC), traditional (T), as well as organic (O) were the classifications given to the system under review. Depending on the system, AC systems only slightly enhance meat quality, animal welfare, or environmental effects compared to C systems. The disparities were significantly greater for T systems, which used extremely fat, slow-growing traditional breeds and often raised fattening pigs outside. Environmental effects were estimated and shown at the farm gate for each kg of pig live weight (LW) and each hectare of land used. Climate change, acidification, eutrophication, energy consumption, and land occupancy impacted C systems to 4.7 kg CO2, 48.3 g SO2, 29.7 g PO4, 18.3 and 6.8 m2. AC outperformed C by + 14%, + 6%, 1%, + 3%, and + 17% in equivalent mean values; T by +55%, +77%, +25%, +51%, and +157%, and O by + 5%, 17%, +26%, +12%, and + 122%. In contrast, when stated land use, mean effects for T and O systems were 10% to 60% lower, depending on the impact category. This was mostly caused by increased land use per kilogram of pig produced, which was brought on by feed production and sow or piglet fattening outside. The usage of straw bedding increased the impact of climate change per kilogram. The adoption of traditional local breeds resulted in larger effects per kg for all impact categories, despite lower productivity and feed efficiency. T systems with intensive outdoor pig rearing resulted in a much-reduced effect per hectare of land exploited. The potential for eutrophication per hectare was significantly lower in O systems. Traditional systems have reduced global implications.


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How to Cite
Asihwarya Sharma, Suphiya Parveen, & Smita Sarma. (2023). Assessing the Sustainability of Pork Production Systems and Their Effect on Animal Welfare and the Environment. Revista Electronica De Veterinaria, 24(2), 471 - 485. Retrieved from