The environmental impact and carbon footprint of English pig production are interwoven, and the industry in England is seeking to begin to tackle both at the same time, says a bulletin from the British Pig Executive (BPEX). It has launched two reports looking at the carbon footprint of pig production together with the sustainability of the industry.

The first report is called Scoping Life Cycle Assessment of Pork Production. It contains estimates of the environmental impact of pork production and identifies opportunities for improvement.

The second is Pigs and the Environment, which looks at how BPEX can work to enhance the environmental sustainability of pork production.

Like all economic activity, pork production causes environmental impacts; primarily climate change, air pollution, water pollution and loss of biodiversity. These impacts tend to be lower for pork products than for beef and lamb, but higher than for poultry.

Chris Lamb, BPEX head of marketing, said, "The English pig industry has already taken major steps to improve efficiency and, as a consequence, cut CO2 and other environmental impacts.

"As the industry has a comparatively small number of producers, positive changes are relatively easier to introduce and this has been part of the reason for the excellent response.

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"The pig industry is determined to participate fully in the environmental debate and play its part in reducing GHG emissions."