The demand for soy as high-protein feed is one of the main causes of climate change related to animal husbandry.One of the most important causes of global warming is deforestation (6% of global anthropogenic GHG emissions).One of the two main deforestation engines in South America, and especially in Brazil, is the demand for soy production for animal feed.Significantly more than 97% of soybean crops are mainly intended for fodder (soybean flour remaining after extrusion of soybean oil is used for animal feed).It is estimated that 70% of deforested land is used as pastureland, and a significant part of the remaining for soy cultivation intended for use in regions of intensive livestock production (eg in Europe and in China).
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Soy flour creates 10-20% of chicken and pig feed in a number of developed and developing countries, includingin China, Brazil, Japan, USA, Germany, Mexico, Thailand and the United Kingdom.It is also used as a high-protein feed for dairy cattle, especially since the introduction, after the BSE epidemic, banning the use of feed containing animal protein.
Soy is an element of globalized trade in fodder.In response to feed demand, soya production has tripled since the mid-1980s, and half of this growth took place in 2002-2006.This enormous growth was achieved to a large extent by the expansion of the crop area.
In 2003, WWF-Brazil reported on the export boom of soy production in the ecologically sensitive Cerrado region (savanna) in the mid-west of Brazil.To set up plantations and large farms bought land from small owners, but WWF stated that production also involves expansion into significant areas of new areas, which must first be stripped of vegetation and prepared for soybean cultivation.Side effects include deforestation, extinction of species and habitats, disappearance of natural vegetation and loss of certain ecosystem functions and services.Natural vegetation not only protects and sustains biodiversity, but also plays a role in regulating climate and hydrological cycles.
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