Towards agri-system thinking: an integrated approach to problems of modern livestock production


  • Dr Abigail Woods

    King's College London

Project summary

This project aims to produce an ambitious plan of work to address problems of livestock health, productivity, welfare and the environment, all of which are commonly associated with intensive farming. In contrast to previous studies which have examined these problems in isolation, this project will focus on the nature and dynamics of the agricultural systems that gave rise to them. This approach is essential is we are to confront the threats these problems pose to food security, ecological sustainability, animal well-being and the public acceptability of modern livestock farming.

Led by scholars from history, social science and epidemiology, the project spans the historical emergence and characterisation of these problems, their present-day manifestations, and how they might evolve under a drive for sustainable intensification. There will be two facilitated workshops, bringing together stakeholders and scholars from a range of backgrounds for a frank exchange of views about the issues, deficiencies in their understanding, management, governance and communication, and how these could be addressed through an integrated, interdisciplinary programme of work.