Special Issue "Sustainable Animal Production"


A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 March 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Alan Fredeen
Department of Plant and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Agricultural Campus, Dalhousie University, Truro, NS, B2N 5E3, Canada
Website: http://www.dal.ca/faculty/agriculture/plant-animal-sciences/faculty-staff/our-faculty/alan-fredeen.html
E-Mail: alan.fredeen@dal.ca
Interests: sustainable dairy systems; pasture-based milk production

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

As leading scientists on the agricultural use of animals, we are needed to interpret the issues and propose mechanisms to effect the changes necessary to provide for futuristic relevance of agricultural animal use on the planet. We cannot simply justify the status quo to which we are undeniably linked. Critical thinking is required to address the urgent need to improve the sustainability of animal agriculture within the context of over-consumption of animal products in emerging and developed economies, health and welfare concerns at all levels of the agroecosystem, as well as increasing environmental impact. The rapidly changing context of sustainable development now includes adaptation to a changing environment and increasing vulnerability of production systems that are dependent on purchased inputs and because of which spread the impacts of animal production beyond the farm gate. Concurrently, changing size demographics of animal production units is switching responsibility for the impacts from farmer to corporate. Justification for the agricultural use of animals in the future will require out-of-the-box, system-level thinking to identify the win/win opportunities to improve sustainability as well as the metrics needed to direct true progress towards greater sustainability in the broadest sense of the meaning.

Prof. Dr. Alan Fredeen
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 500 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • animal
  • sustainability
  • environment
  • adaptation
  • agroecosystems
  • health
  • welfare

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Displaying article 1-5
p. 463-475
by , , ,  and
Animals 2014, 4(3), 463-475; doi:10.3390/ani4030463
Received: 6 April 2014; in revised form: 30 June 2014 / Accepted: 8 July 2014 / Published: 17 July 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Animal Production)
p. 348-360
by , , , ,  and
Animals 2014, 4(2), 348-360; doi:10.3390/ani4020348
Received: 10 February 2014; in revised form: 3 June 2014 / Accepted: 5 June 2014 / Published: 19 June 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Animal Production)
p. 146-163
by ,  and
Animals 2014, 4(2), 146-163; doi:10.3390/ani4020146
Received: 27 November 2013; in revised form: 27 March 2014 / Accepted: 28 March 2014 / Published: 4 April 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Animal Production)
p. 82-92
by , ,  and
Animals 2014, 4(1), 82-92; doi:10.3390/ani4010082
Received: 4 December 2013; in revised form: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 26 February 2014 / Published: 5 March 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Animal Production)
p. 1123-1141
by , , , ,  and
Animals 2013, 3(4), 1123-1141; doi:10.3390/ani3041123
Received: 29 October 2013; in revised form: 26 November 2013 / Accepted: 28 November 2013 / Published: 3 December 2013
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Influence of Housing System on Pig Performance, Meat Lipid and Oxidative Status
Giuseppe Martino 1, Cecilia Mugnai 1,*, Dario Compagnone 1, Lisa Grotta 1, Michele Del Carlo 1, Francesca Sarti 2, Valentina Ponzielli 1

1 Faculty of Biosciences and Agro-Food Technologies and Environmental, University of Teramo, via C. Lerici 1, Mosciano S.A., 64023, Italy; E-Mail: cmugnai@unite.it
Department of Applied Biology, University of Perugia, Borgo 20 Giugno, 74, 06100, Italy
The aim of this research was to determine the effect of housing system according to organic EU Regulation. for pig production, on performance, meat lipid content, fatty acids profile and indices of oxidative stability, histidinic antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, and TBARs. One hundred commercial hybrid piglets were allocated to each of three housing treatments: intensive (I); Free Range (FR), or Organic (O), Total lipid amount in meat increased in the order: O < FR < I. FR and O increased: dressing out, C20:1n9, Δ9-desaturase (C18) and Thioesterase indices in meat. Lipid, dipeptides and CoQ10 appeared correlated to glycolytic and oxidative metabolic pathways. We can conclude that all studied parameters were influenced by housing system, and that differences were particularly evident (P < 0.0001) in the O system, which produced leaner meat with higher oxidative stability. Hence, one of the aims of an organic production system (Council Regulation, 1999) is to enhance the rearing and diffusion of local genotypes, in addition, this rearing technique ensures high ecosystem sustainability, improving the role of agriculture in environment preservation.

Type of Paper: Article
Modelling Impacts of Management Intensive Grazing, Forage Feeding or Intensive Confinement Feeding on Sustainability of Dairy Production
: Michael H. Main 1, R. C. Martin 2, A. Georgallas 3 and Alan H. Fredeen 1
: 1 Department of Plant and Animal Science, Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture; E-Mail: mmain@dal.ca; 2 Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Guelph ON; 3 Department of Engineering, Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture, PO Box 550 Truro, N.S., Canada, B2N 5E3;
: The environmental sustainability of intensified food production has been frequently questioned. The objective of this study was to assess sustainability of dairying in eastern Canada as impacted by forage proportion in cow diets, use of management-intensive grazing (MIG) versus year-round confinement feeding, and fertilizer N input intensity. To address this, the Dairy Sustainability Model was developed.  A dynamic core model represents farm C and N flows, parameterized to reflect eastern Canadian data. Linked empirical models track energy use, GHG emissions, soil erosion, and cash flows, encompassing most upstream impacts associated with input production and usage, and downstream impacts to the farm gate following a life-cycle approach.  Sustainability was described by a suite of indicators: nitrogen use efficiency (commercial N kg-1 of output N), nitrate leaching (kg N ha-1 y-1), soil carbon changes (kg ha-1 y-1), soil erosion rates (Mg ha-1 y-1), energy use intensity (MJ kg-1 of milk), greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity (CO2 equivalents kg-1 of milk), and profitability (net margin kg-1 of milk). The model predicts that increasing the proportion of forage in the diet, although being associated with lower milk production per cow and increased land area requirement per unit milk produced, will lead to improvements in most indicators including GHG emission intensity, due to upward soil carbon trends, and reduced nitrate leaching, soil erosion, fossil fuel inputs and field N2O emissions associated with increased use of forage crops. Simulations predict that employing MIG will improve overall sustainability relative to year-round confinement feeding, including marginally reduced GHG emissions and improved profitability, due to comparatively high forage quality, low costs, and low fossil energy use during the grazing season. Taken together, the results suggest that forage based feeding employing MIG in the grazing season can generate broad sustainability benefits relative to year-round confinement systems feeding more grain.

Last update: 12 December 2013

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