Improved biological efficiency and specifically reduces production of waste per unit output is an important goal for breeders and there are emerging research results that are providing new opportunities to select for environmental efficiency.
Breeding organisations attempt to increase feed efficiency, which reduces the emission of minerals (N, P) into the environment. Global ecological and geo-political factors will impact, particularly in the longer term. For example, the rising costs of energy and transport could stimulate production close to the point of consumption. An increasing need for security of supply in an uncertain world could have a similar effect. Global warming will have an ever-increasing impact, for example on the need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and on systems of animal husbandry, crops that can be grown as animal feed, or on potential diseases and parasites. Competition between land use for subsidised energy production (e.g. bio ethanol) and feed will increase feed prices.
EU and national regulation for the protection of the environment may have a significant impact on the viability of livestock production and production level in some regions of the EU.