Sustainable animal husbandry

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to clarify the role of livestock systems in the context of agricultural systems and to investigate aspects of the sustainability of livestock activities in terms of pollution, production, product quality and animal welfare. It will also provide the skills and tools for the evaluation of resources and critical factors of modern farming systems.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will have acquired knowledge to monitor and improve modern livestock systems, thanks to the study of sustainability parameters and to the most current research methods in the field.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
In the emergency phase, some details of the course and the exam will change. In particular:
Program - The course program will remain unchanged
Teaching methods - More specific information on the delivery modes of training activities for academic year 2021/2022 will be provided over the coming months, based on the evaluation of the public health situation.
Course syllabus
Livestock farming and environment (3 ECTS)
- livestock farming in Italy and in the world;
- environmental impact of animal productions; excretions, emissions and non renewable resources consumption; nitrogen excretion and methane emissions; regulations, evaluation and mitigation strategies; evaluation of environmental impact through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).
- computer classroom exercise on the use of programs for environmental impact assessment through the LCA approach
Food safety and animal welfare (3 ECTS)
- main health risks associated to animal origin food; regulations and strategies to reduce the risks
- definition of animal welfare, indicators and methods for the evaluation; regulations concerning animal husbandry, transportation and slaughtering.
- visits to livestock farms
Prerequisites for admission
General information about animal husbandry and animal nutrition
Teaching methods
Traditional lessons with direct student involvement in debates; computer classroom exercises for learning the rudiments of the use of programs for environmental impact assessment through the Life Cycle Assessment method; visits to intensive and extensive livestock farms
Teaching Resources
Notes from the lesson and online documents on ARIEL UNIMI website
Books: 1) B. Stefanon , M. Mele , G. Pulina. Allevamento animale e sostenibilità ambientale: I principi. Franco Angeli; 2) B. Stefanon , M. Mele , G. Pulina. Allevamento animale e sostenibilità ambientale: Le tecnologie. Franco Angeli
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral examination focusing on the three main areas of sustainability covered by the programme: environment, food safety and animal welfare.
Evaluation criteria: theoretical and practical knowledge of the subject; ability to correctly organize the answer and discuss the topic with appropriate links; logic and sequence of concepts; property of technical/scientific language.
Students are invited to prepare on a voluntary basis an in-depth study on a specific topic of interest pertaining to one of the themes in which the programme is divided. The in-depth work will be presented to classmates before the end of the course.
The mark is expressed in thirtieths and is calculated as the weighed average of the assessments achieved in the oral exam and in any in-depth presentation
AGR/19 - ANIMAL SCIENCE - University credits: 6
Field activity: 16 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Educational website(s)
by appointment (send an email)
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali (sezione Zootecnica) via Celoria 2 Milano