This book comprises a series of individual papers on the development of intensive methods of rearing animals. Starting from the original domestication of what are known as farm animals the authors consider the effect on the ecosystem of the new method of housing animals, the changes in animal types as a remit of selective breeding and the new programmes for the effective feeding of animals. In addition, the effect of intensive management on animal behaviour and disease incidence is discussed for poultry, pigs and cattle. The consideration of bioindustrial ecosystems in this volume concentrates on systems which, while being true ecosystems, differ considerably from those dealt with in the other volumes of this series. The points of similarity concern the relationship between one organism and another and their interaction with the environment. The points of difference relate to the major role of man as an organism in bioindustrial ecosystems and the nature of the artificial environment that he has created for his animals. The involvement of man is related to the domestication of animals and his use of them for such things as food, traction, transport, clothing, fertiliser and recreation. Man's use of animals in different parts of the world varies considerably and is influenced by a number of factors which include climate, wealth, availability of water, customs and religion. Probably the developments in bioindustry during this century show a greater change in an ecosystem over a short time than any other. As man further develops bioindustry to meet his needs, so the place of the animal in the ecosystem assumes greater importance in relation to its own well-being. Using an international approach the authors have compiled a comprehensive study, which will act as an important reference for political and ecological discussions on the future of animal production.
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