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Urban animals – feeding the cities of the future

This policy brief outlines policy actions for management of urban livestock production and identifies the existing knowledge gaps. Co-written by Ulf Magnusson, SLU, Johanna Lindahl, SLU, ILRI and Katinka DeBalogh, FAO, the brief also highligts the advantages and potential problems related to animal food production in cities and discusses the dilemma urban livestock producation raises for public and environmental health in terms of sanitation and nutrition. As a starting point, the authors take the idea that livestock will be a part of urban environments in the future and it is necessary to find ways forward to practice it in a safe and sustainable manner.

Key Messages:

  • There will always be a demand for safe food from animal sources in cities.
  • While urban animal keeping helps to provide city dwellers with diverse, fresh and nutritious food, keeping livestock in densely populated areas that lack infrastructure may pose risks to public health and create environmental hazards.
  • There is a lack of evidence on the risks associated with different kinds of urban livestock, and a need for risk assessments.
  • Regulations may be counter-productive, and their effects need to be evaluated in order to guide future policy.
  • Waste management is a major cause for concern in urban agriculture. Different solutions need to be studied in order to pilot and evaluate interventions.



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