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The importance of sustainable goat/sheep breeding

Preserving cultural wealth

Raising goats and sheep in the European Union and the link between reproductive systems and maintaining vegetation through a sustainable process is an advantage for less favourable areas, particularly in the Mediterranean Basin, as it helps preserve the cultural wealth and traditions of entire regions with specific social activities.

Retaining biodiversity

Sheep and goats are bred mostly in pasture lands in disadvantaged areas which cannot be used to grow crops, and thus play an important role in conserving these lands and preserving biodiversity.

High-quality meat

Sustainable goat and sheep breeding in the European Union ensures that animals are fed naturally, as they are free, while their diet is based on plants in green pastures of high nutritional value which are neither fertilised nor sprayed with pesticides. Extensive breeding as a natural process results in European consumers eating goat and sheep meat of high nutritional value and organoleptic properties.

Protecting nature from disasters

Breeding sheep and goats has a significant impact on the ecosystem through controlling the undesirable concentration of biomass and, as a result, reducing fire risk. Keep in mind that a fire in a drainage basis would have very serious economic, social, environmental, ecological, aesthetic and cultural impacts. It has a dire effect on the regional flora and fauna, the area’s ability to collect and distribute surface runoff, drain flood waters and supply stream water sources, on the physical and chemical properties of the soil and on air and water quality.

Positive ecological footprint

The returns realised by breeding goats and sheep in the European Union are significant in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Measurements indicate that the sector (including required energy consumption, production and transport of animal feed and land use) is responsible for just 3.7% of total greenhouse house gas emissions generated by livestock breeding in the EU. This is clearly due to extensive grazing and pertains to land which cannot be used for crops to meet human needs for food, making this an ideal and efficient use of natural resources.

Carbon storage

Grazing lands are an important storage point of carbon, while the capacity for storing carbon is adversely impacted by degraded pasture. As a result, proper pasture management is vitally important, as both excessive grazing and under-grazing can reduce carbon capture or lead to carbon losses in the soil with varying effects.