Climate Change and Livestock: What Next?

SCI | 14/15 Belgrave Square | London SW1X 8PS

2 December 2019

Organised by SCI’s Agrisciences Group and the British Society of Animal Science 


Registration Open    Call for Posters    Programme    Fees




This conference will start with an introduction to the impact of livestock on climate change and delegates will then be informed of the evidence-based solutions for mitigating environmental footprint of livestock production and adapting our livestock systems to the changing climate. This unique event will provide the attendees with all you need to know about the latest developments around climate change and future livestock production.

The global population is increasing, on average, by 83 million annually and is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. Along with a GDP-driven nutrition transition towards a Western-style diet, the demand for food and animal products is rapidly growing. While livestock production supports livelihoods and food security globally, it is also responsible for around 14% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Beef and dairy production, as well as activities including feed production, ruminant enteric fermentation and manure management, are major contributors to livestock greenhouse gas emissions. Technical solutions mainly focus on improved feed production, animal breeding and management, soil fertilisation strategies, soil carbon sequestration, land-set-aside and agroforestry. Indeed, research evidence shows that optimising livestock production systems can reduce livestock greenhouse gas emission intensities by up to 30%. However, mitigation strategies must ensure long-term efficacy, sustainability and resilience; while consumer food choices can also play a role in reducing the impact.

Climate change in-turn affects livestock production because it increases competition for natural resources; challenges the productivity, availability and quality of feed; and potentially impairs animal productivity, health, fertility and biodiversity. Proposed livestock adaptation measures to the changing climate include increased pasture utilisation and feed biodiversity; development of mixed crop-livestock systems; optimisation of feeding strategies; rotation of crops and herds between different locations; breeding climate-tolerant livestock and plants; and supporting farmer education and adaptive capacity.

Reducing the environmental footprint of livestock production and adapting our livestock production systems to the changing climate to support global food security is possible. But we need to identify the most effective solutions to each problem, and implement these solutions via strong political will and action at both a local and global scale.




This will be a unique opportunity to learn about, and discuss with experts in the field, climate change and livestock production, whilst expanding your relevant network and developing new partnerships. This event is aimed at people of all career stages and will be of particular interest to the following:

  • Stakeholders across the animal food production chain, including feed producers, farmers, consultants, animal nutritionists and breeders, forage breeders and agronomists, machinery and precision technology developers and suppliers.
  • Stakeholders across the animal food processing chain, including wholesalers, processors, and retailers.
  • Specialists in all areas of livestock production, greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and environmental modelling; as well as students and early-career researchers in these fields.
  • Those who are seeking evidence-based information around livestock and climate change and eager to learn about realistic technical solutions for mitigation of livestock greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation of livestock to the changing climate.
  • Consumers and those involved in policy-making, who are keen to make informed decisions at individual and national level, respectively.




09.00 Registration and refreshments
09.45 Climate change & livestock: a brief introduction to basic facts
  Dr Sokratis Stergiadis, University of Reading
10.00 Strategies to mitigate livestock impact on climate change
  Dr Michael McLeod, Scotland’s Rural College
  Modelling greenhouse gas emissions from livestock: what, why and how
  Prof Tom Misselbrook, Rothamsted Research
  Feeding seaweed to cattle to reduce methane emissions
  Dr Jason Sands, Ocean Harvest Technologies
11.00 Refreshment break
11.30 Beef production in Brazil: vulnerability and adaptation to climate change
  Dr Rafael de Oliveira Silva, University of Edinburgh
  Adaptation of the feed production systems to the changing climate
  Dr David Style, Bangor University
  Climate resilient pastures and forages
  Ian Wilkinson, Cotswold Seeds
12.40 Lunch
13.30 The UK industry's perspective and actions around mitigation of livestock greenhouse gas emissions
  Kim Matthews. AHDB
  The Irish industry's perspective towards a sustainable livestock production
  Speaker to be confirmed
  Addressing climate change from the livestock sector – current policies and future direction 
  Dr Luke Spadavecchia, DEFRA
  Achieving a healthy and sustainable diet: the role of animal products
  Speaker to be confirmed
15.10 Refreshment break
15.30 Q&A
  Chair: Prof Michael Lee, Rothamsted Research
16.30 Close



Discounts apply for BSAS and SCI members.

Early bird fees before Monday 21 October 2019
Standard fees after Monday 21 October 2019
£75 SCI / BSAS Member £105 SCI / BSAS Member
£25 SCI / BSAS Student/Early Career Member £40 SCI / BSAS Student/Early Career Member
£30 SCI / BSAS Subsidised Member £60 SCI / BSAS Subsidised Member
£100 Non-Member £140 Non-Member


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  • Are you conducting research related to livestock and climate change?
  • Have you taken any actions to mitigate livestock climate footprint or adapted a livestock system to the changing climate?
  • Do you have a great story to tell?

If any of the above applies, then you should tell us by presenting a poster. We anticipate a diverse audience, interested in all sorts of interactions between the livestock and climate change across the food supply chain. Posters will be on display during the refreshment breaks between the plenary sessions.

To present a poster, please submit a one-page abstract to by Monday 2 September 2019 with "Climate change and livestock – poster abstract" in the subject line.




An exhibition will take place alongside the conference for companies and related organisations who may wish to exhibit. Please email for further information and prices. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.




Dr James Garratt, SCI / Enviresearch
Prof David Kenny, BSAS / Teagasc
Prof Michael Lee, BSAS / Rothamsted Research
Dr Sokratis Stergiadis, SCI / University of Reading
Dr Sinead Waters, BSAS / Teagasc




For booking terms and conditions click here.




Conference Team
14/15 Belgrave Square
Tel: +44 (0)20 7598 1561