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Global Food Security

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Over the next few decades, there will be increasing pressure on agricultural land and its ability to meet demands for global food security. The combination of climate change, rapidly increasing human population, urbanisation, demand for biofuels and a growing demand for animal protein in developing nations, will exacerbate this pressure on farm land. Farm animals play an important role in meeting our requirements for food in the broader context of mixed agricultural systems, but come at a price. For instance ruminant livestock, which are responsible for 12% of greenhouse gas emissions, are nevertheless an important source of protein for the world’s poor people and can consume crop residues humans cannot eat. Livestock production may also impact (both positively and negatively) on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Professor Mark Eisler leads the Food Security theme within both the School of Veterinary Sciences and the University of Bristol’s Cabot Institute and represents the University on the Board of the Food Security and Land Research Alliance. Dr Michael Lee, Reader in Sustainable Livestock Systems and Food Security, through a five year BBSRC/Rothamsted grant (2013-2018), leads Livestock Research at the North Wyke Farm Platform  (BBSRC National Capability) along with key Rothamsted Researchers. Mark and Michael were also instigators of the Global Farm Platform, an international network on sustainable ruminant livestock funded by the Worldwide Universities Network and the Global Innovations Initiative.


Our research addresses major challenges to sustainable intensification of livestock production, including epidemiology, infectious disease, nutrition and management, One Health, parasitology, veterinary public health and animal welfare. Research outputs will inform policy makers, farmers and other stakeholders of the threats, barriers and potential solutions for ensuring that livestock make an essential contribution to global food security.

Rothamsted Researchers

Robert Orr
Bruce Griffiths
Jenni Dungait
Phil Murray