Extensive versus modern animal husbandry – pros and cons
Food industry has significantly started affecting eco-system and it is more and more clear that we cannot only produce. It has become more important how we produce, as well as how to produce food with economical usage of row materials and energy with respect to the environment. Nowadays, we face many facts that prove the intensive animal husbandry (IAH) is not so modern anymore and that we have to search back for certain elements from the extensive animal husbandry (EAH) in order to reactivate them in cost-efficient way and with regard to preserving biodiversity, rural development, protection of natural heritage, traditions and animal welfare. It has been identified that upraising of EAH in the future depends much on land support, land-use management, climate, economical development of each country, education and motivation of farmers, as well as on the possibilities to be competitive on the market. The maintenance system has to be cost-effective for the owner to enjoy the occupation of EAH and companionship of the animals. Therefore, EAH could be sustainable only where public attitudes are positive and appropriate premiums can be justified so that the systems remain viable. Product quality and origin should give added value to such production. Research and development should support such advancements and the adoption of new reasonable production systems serving animal welfare.