APS-30306 Sustainability Assessment of Animal Systems


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work3
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. LE Webb
Lecturer(s)dr. LE Webb
dr. ir. SJ Oosting
dr. ir. EAM Bokkers
prof. dr. ir. IJM de Boer
dr. ir. A Kok
dr. ir. HHE van Zanten
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. IJM de Boer

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

APS-20806 Systems Approach in Animal Sciences.

Continuation courses:

APS-31306 Future Livestock Systems.


Consumers in wealthy countries demand high quality safe food that is produced with minimal environmental losses, and under optimal conditions for animal welfare. In less developed countries, livestock production should not only satisfy an increasing demand, but also contribute to poverty alleviation of smallholders. This course gives an overview of various methods that can be used to assess the consequences of innovations in animal production systems across the world, with a special focus on their impact on the environment (i.e. on efficient use of resources and on emissions to air, water or soil), their impact on the livelihood of people (i.e. on farm income, volatility, employability, and food security) and their impact on animal welfare (i.e. on animal behaviour, animal health). Finally, trade-offs and synergies between sustainability aspects are analysed.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- calculate indicators for environmental impact assessment of animal production systems
- explain the potential use of environmental indicators from a farm or life cycle perspective
- compare and interpret tools to asses animal welfare
- analyse with an economic-based model innovations in animal production systems
- assess the consequences of innovations in animal production systems on environment, livelihood, and animal welfare
- identify synergies and trade-offs among environment, livelihood and animal welfare of (innovations in) animal production systems.


- lectures;
- working group activities with each week a different issue;
- short presentations and discussions.


- written test with open questions (70%; in English and to be answered in English);
- essay (30%; in English). Each component needs a minimum mark of 5.5 to pass.


Study guide and reader in English.

Keuze voor: MOAOrganic AgricultureMScA: Spec. A - Agroecology5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Spec. D - Adaptation, Health and Behaviour5MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScC: Spec. C - Global and Sustainable Production5MO