South African Journal of Animal Science
On-line version ISSN 2221-4062
Climate change and its effects on existence on earth are becoming more and more relevant as physical evidence of change in our climate is beginning to mount. Livestock production and our dependence on it for survival is a reality. It is also a reality that this global source of food and income will be prone to the effects of climate change. Historic climate changes have already played a role in the demise or development of agricultural production systems. This review article will give insight into the most important livestock production species and the possible effects of climate change on their production parameters. The species to be discussed are dairy cattle, beef cattle, small ruminants and monogastric production animals. The results and predictions of global studies and simulations are summarized with special emphasis, where possible, on the southern African scenario. This review deals with these changes and possible adaptations and mitigations. All predictions indicate that livestock production at local, national and regional level may undergo changes in the foreseeable future.
Keywords : Climate impact; dairy cattle; beef cattle; small ruminants; monogastric animals.