Livestock producers are coming in for increasing criticism world-wide on the grounds that livestock production is bad for the environment. But the environmental consequences vary widely, depending on the specific local circumstances.
Focusing primarily on pastoral grazing and integrated crop-livestock systems, this paper examines the less widely documented case that there are also positive environmental externalities asscociated with livestock production. Livestock can play an instrumental role, for example, in supporting sustainable rangeland management, preserving biodiversity, enhancing soil fertility and nutrient cycling, and promoting the amenity value of landscape.
The paper addresses ways of enhancing, through policy instruments, the sharing of benefits between multiple users of the environment.