LIVESTOCK (Historical Perspective & Importance)
(Written By Muhammad Wajid Javed &Muhammad Hamid Javed)
Allah Almighty has provided man with lots of blessings. These comprise of a wide range. Out of them, livestock is prominent one. It has various benefits and advantages associated with this. In the Holy Quran, it is elaborated that “there are benefits for individuals in four legged animals then why you are not paying thanks (to Allah Almighty). (Al-Quran, Surah Yaseen -73).
Before discussing this, its definition is compulsory:
Definition of livestock
It is defined as “all the domesticated forms of animals reared under human control and have various benefits”. Examples mainly include buffalo, cattle, goat, sheep, horses etc. It not includes gamed animals such as lion, tigers and wolf etc.
History of livestock is as earlier as that of man. If we look into past, it will be clear that it is the profession adopted and carried out by all human living in any part of the world belonging to any civilization. Most of the Prophets also belong to this profession, for their livelihood and earrings. Our Holy Prophet (Sal’lal Laho Alihe Wa’aalahe Wassalam) had also adopted this.
Livestock were domesticated in settled farming families and not in the hunter-gatherers’ culture. Man had to used them for various purposes and also breed them.
Different animals such as cow (cattle) were worshiped by the people relating to different religions. This is also existed in India now-a-days. Cattles were domesticated about in the beginning of Neolithic age (i.e. about 18000 years ago). The species of cattle are the offspring of bos indicus and bos Taurus. Bos Taurus is the domestic cattle mainly came from Europe. Bos indicus possesses hump on their back and are normally more resistant to different diseases. Other livestock was contained of sheep, goat, buffalo etc. Livestock mainly cow thought to be present from 10000 to 16000 years ago. Cattles were earlier haunted as wild animals before their domestication. Oldest written records was found in Sanskrit of ancient India. Cow was present in 2000 BC in Ejypt.
includes Brazil, India, China, USA, Australia, Sudan and Pakistan etc.
In Pakistan, livestock is mainly congested to rural areas where landless as well as landowner farmers has adopted it as a profession.
In almost every rural areas of Pakistan, people are related to livestock for their earnings and other sorts of activities. It is a source of daily income for rural dwelling families. From dairy animal-rearing about 46440 tons of milk was obtained during 2010-2011. Production of other animal products were also remarkable. Number of livestock were about 160 million including horses, ass, mules etc. This sector serves as a source employment to people belonging to either rural or urban areas. This can accepted from the fact that livestock is providing employment to almost 35-40 million rural people.
Domestication means to cause the behaviour of animals adapting in such a way that it leads to different human benefits. Livestock were hunted before their domestication in various areas of the world. Their domestication takes place when man learnt to use them for their food, clothes and other needs of life.Farminganimals are not kept in enclosure and sometimes these animals are offered free grazing on pastures and meadows. But often these can be placed in sections or pen for their proper rearing and domestication practices. Placing of animals in pen is a new thing in agricultural sector. This may vary from small indoor sections to large but covered or barbed wire surrounding areas. Here, animals are feed with simplified natural diets as in pastures or may be given highly complex feed ingredients or feed mixture in stall feeding. In open or large scale grazing system animals are normally inspected by dogs,vehicles and sometimes by helicopters. In such cases on extensive grasslands, rotation is practiced to safe them from overgrazing and hence maintaining a blance in natural ecosystems without causing harms to the environment.
Livestock and Environment:-
Livestock has a strong linkage with the environment. It provides benefits to crops as a source of organic manures. But sometimes, it is observed that people think that these are spreading pollution and causing serious health problems due to their wastes. It can be controlled by adopting strong health, hygienic and waste disposal rules. Handling and disposal of waste can cause problems to a single person rather than the whole population. Hence, it becomes difficult for an individual to dispose waste properly. It requires an investment of million dollars along with recurring or daily expenses occurring on the management and operations of such waste handling sites. In some areas, there are combined feed lots of farms but these farms are so far from one another to build a single waste disposal site. So, every individual farm has to pay all the expenses alone. This creates a burden on his budget as well as economics.
Types of Livestock:
It comprises of buffalo, cattle, cat, dog, bison, goat, sheep, yak, donkeys etc.
• Supporting low class families: This is source of support and maintenance for low class families of our country and in the other parts of the world. Livestock serves as live bank for people due to its availability at the time of need. For example, if you need money in a troubled time, you can sale your animal without taking debit for any one.
• Role in GDP: The performance of Livestock – the single largest contributor to overall agriculture (53.2 percent). However, grew by 4.1 percent in 2009‐10 as against 3.5 percent last year.
• Source of food for human: Meat is a useful form of dietary protein and energy. Mammalian livestock can be used as a source of milk, which can in turn easily be processed into other dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, kefir, and kumis. Using livestock for this purpose can often yield several times the food energy of slaughtering the animal outright.
• Fabric industry: Livestock produce a range of fiber/textiles. For example, sheep and goats produce wool and mohair; cows, deer, and sheep skins can be made into leather; and bones, hooves and horns of livestock can be used.
• Source of farm power: Animals such as horses, donkey, and yaks can be used for mechanical energy. Prior to steam power, livestock were the only available source of non-human labor. They are still used for this purpose in many places of the world, including ploughing fields, transporting goods, and military functions.
• Source of recreation: Riding on the horse back is a prominent source of recreation and amusement for people.
• Soil fertility: The grazing of livestock is sometimes used as a way to control weeds and undergrowth. For example, in areas prone to wild fires, goats and sheep are set to graze on dry scrub which removes combustible material and reduces the risk of fires, causing increased fertility of soil.
• Stabilizing farm business: It also sustain farm business of farmers. Many farmers are a lot from this sector of business.
• Source of income: Livestock gives daily income to its owner.
• Career opportunities: A wide range of opportunities are available in this under the umbrella of animal scientists.
• By products: Manure can be spread on fields to increase crop yields. This is an important reason why historically, plant and animal domestication have been intimately linked.During the history of animal husbandry, many secondary products have arisen in an attempt to increase carcass utilization and reduce waste. For example, animal offal and non-edible parts may be transformed into products such as pet food and fertilizer
1. Muhammad Wajid Javed is student of B.Sc. (Hons.) Agriculture (Department of Agri. Entomology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad)
2. Muhammad Hamid Javed is student of B.Sc( Department (under Biological Sciences) University of The Punjab, Lahore) Mob: .0313-7070047