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17 Jun 2014: Livestock Maps Highlight
Regions Prone to Disease and Pollution

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China pig density

Livestock Geo-Wiki
Density of pigs in China.
A new mapping tool shows the global distribution of cattle, pigs, and other livestock in high-resolution, 1-square-kilometer detail. Created by the International Livestock Research Institute, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and British and Belgian researchers, the maps are the most detailed renditions ever produced of the planet's billions of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, and ducks. They reveal several notable trends, such as the high density of pigs in China, India's relatively high sheep and goat populations, and the affinity of the southeastern U.S. for chickens. Researchers say they will be powerful tools for tracking and predicting the course of livestock-borne disease outbreaks, such as avian flu strains that have been linked to dense poultry markets. The maps could also predict where major livestock operations are most likely to harm the environment, researchers say. As livestock production increases, demands on land, water, and energy intensify, and so does pollution from livestock waste.


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