Report: 10 years of animal farming in Italy
The purpose of this report is twofold: to outline a general picture of the Italian livestock industry (the numbers and the division between different methods of breeding - intensive, organic, caged or free-range), and to highlight changes in the sector and consumption over the period of 10 years.
One of the intriguing findings is that while meat produced in Italian slaughterhouses dropped by 11% (4.5 million quintals*), followed by a decrease in imports, the number of animals slaughtered in Italy increased by 37 million. This can be explained due to the decrease of number of large animals slaughtered, while the slaughter of small ones has increased. Chicken is the animal which has seen a significant increase in consumption while red meat animals, whose individual weight is even a hundred times higher than a single chicken, has decreased.
Although the number of slaughtered animals increased, Italians today consumes less meat (-5.4 kg), eggs and dairy products than ten years ago, thanks to a couple of factors: growing calls for a healthier diet, greater awareness and sensitivity for animal welfare and the environmental impact of industrial farming.