Harmonization with EU Regulation Regarding Environmental Protection in Livestock Production

Harmonization with EU Regulation Regarding Environmental Protection in Livestock Production

Lana Nastić (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Belgrade, Serbia) and Bojana Bekić (Institute of Agricultural Economics, Belgrade, Serbia)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8219-1.ch006
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Environmental protection is one of the key problems in the process of accession of the Republic of Serbia to the European Union. That refers to agricultural production and livestock production which can be large source of environmental pollution. To prevent that, the EU Nitrates Directive must be implemented in Serbia in the following period. However, the Nitrates Directive implementation is related to numerous organizational and financial problems, especially at family farms with activity in livestock production. In this chapter, the authors presented characteristics of livestock production in the Republic of Serbia (cattle number, number of family farms, characteristics of housing capacities for animals and facilities for manure and slurry storage). The authors presented ways in which manure is stored, as well as the potentials of biogas production. Also, they presented models of livestock production financing, including subsidized credits for agriculture, which can facilitate the implementation of the Nitrates Directive at farms.
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Livestock production in the Republic of Serbia is a significant agricultural branch, with a long tradition. However, it can be large source of environmental pollution. Fight against waste becomes more successful thanks to scientific/technological progress and development of ecological awareness. Proper handling of waste includes waste management and the ability to reduce, use (recycle), process and ultimately to dispose waste in a manner safe for the environment. The quality of our environment depends not only on measures of government and companies, but also on the people themselves. The Law on waste defines only the way of storing and transportation of waste and hazardous materials, but its implementation depends on the acceptance of the waste management and environmental protection basic principles (Arsićet al., 2007).Livestock production is particularly important for maintenance of the national food security and the importance of livestock products, as export trade products, changes over time. Thus, the most important exported agricultural product in Serbia during 80's of the last century was beef, and now, when it is again possible to export beef, there is significant lack of this product. In recent years there is insufficient production of this product which is not near the amount of allowable export quotas.

Number of cattle in the Republic of Serbia was analyzed in ten-year period (2004 – 2013) and mainly it shows a decline trend. Thus, data in the Figure 1 shows that the number of cattle, which traditionally represent the most important branch of livestock production, is in steady decline. Namely, the number of cattle has declined from 1,102 thousands in 2004 to 913 thousands in 2013. Also in the same period, there is the reduction in the number of pigs from 3,439 thousands to 3,144 thousands, except in 2007 when there was a significant increase in the number of farmed animals compared to 2006.After that period, there was decrease for most of the analyzed years (with the exception of 2009). Only the number of sheep shows a positive trend and a slight increase in the analyzed period, with the fact that during the whole period there were slight fluctuations in the number of this species.

Figure 1.

Number of cattle, pigs and sheep in Serbia (in thousands)

Source: Statistical Yearbook, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia.

Number of goats in the Republic of Serbia in the period 2004 - 2011 shows decline trend, but in 2012, compared to 2011, it shows a sharp jump in the number of goats (number of goats increased from 130 to 232 thousands). In 2013 it was again a slight decline of number of goats at 225 thousands (Figure 2). A small number of goats are a consequence of the Law on Prohibition of keeping goats, which was adopted in 1954, due to impact of goats on deforestation. This law was abolished in 1984, but it had no significant impact on changes in their numbers. Number of horses in the ten year period had minor fluctuations, primarily because the horses are rarely used for work, and are mainly represented by purebred horses.

Figure 2.

Number of goats and horses in Serbia (in thousands)

Source: Statistical Yearbook, Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia.

Number of poultry shows an uptrend during analysed period. Number of poultry, with fluctuations, increased from 16,280 thousands in 2004 to 23,450 thousands in 2013 (Figure 3). One of the main reasons for the increase of the number of poultry is a bad economic situation, low standard and hence low purchasing power of the population in Serbia. As a result of the unfavorable economic situation, there is a need for the purchase and consumption of those meats which have lower prices and are affordable to purchase by a larger population, and that is especially poultry. In Serbia many households keep small number of fattening chickens, primarily for their own use and thus get cheaper chicken meat. In most cases, the cultivation is carried out in facilities that were not designed for this purpose and do not meet basic sanitary conditions. Husbandries keep broilers in such facilities not only in rural areas, but often in suburban areas.

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