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Livestock raising. In spite of the technical and scientific developments in the world in the form of quick means of communication, transportation, factories, mineral and power resources the utility of domesticated animals in human life still remains of paramount importance. Their economic contribution in every sphere is unquestioned. They are still the symbols of life force and as such their utility is beyond doubt. The distribution of livestock is influenced by the following factors

  • 1. Population density
  • 2. Purchasing power of the people
  • 3. Availability of grazing lands
  • 4. Availability of feedstuff
  • 5. Temperature and rainfall
  • 6. Location in relation to market
  • 7. Demand for animal products like meat and fat
  • 8. Availability of energy

    The distribution of livestock is quite uneven. The interesting features of the distribution are the following:

    The Far East and the Latin American countries have the largest number of the cattle population.

    India leads all other countries in cattle population. She has about 182 million heads of cattle. Next, in order of importance, are Russia, U.S.A., Brazil, China, Argentina and Pakistan with 116 million, 12 million, 90 million, 64 million, 60 million and 155 million heads of cattle respectively.

    The greatest concentration of sheep can be found in Oceania, 206 million. Latin America, Europe and Africa come next. Russia, Argentina, China, India, South Africa, Turkey, U.S.A. and U.K. have 145 million, 38 million, 96 million, 41 million, 33 million, 45 million, 13 million and 30 million heads of sheep respectively.

    Europe has the largest number of pigs, 129 million heads. Latin America has the largest number of horses and mules of 23 million and 6.2 million heads respectively.

    Africa and Near East have the largest number of camels; 12 million and 3.7 million beads respectively.

    Different Manners of Animals Use. The manner in which man uses animals may be different in different places of the world. Nomadic Pastoralism is prevalent in desert or semi-desert areas of the world, specially in the areas from Sahara to Gobi desert-inhabited by nomadic tribes. Due to absence of agriculture and modern means of transport in the desert regions the people there have been compelled to rear camel and horses for transportation and sheep for food supply. In order to secure food clothing and transport facilities people must have large number of animals. Livestock ranching is prevalent in the sparsely populated semi-arid or sub-humid areas beyond the agricultural margins such as western U.S.A. the drier parts of Argentina and the Orinoco plains, where a man has to support his family by ranching.

    Commercial livestock and crop farming is practiced in the economically advanced countries as this requires large capital and skilled labour. It is also practiced in areas neighboring great cities and towns such as London, Buenos Aires, in the corn belt of U.S.A. and in the humid Pampas of Argentina.

    Commercial dairy farming is practiced near about the densely populated urban centres of industrial countries like northwest Europe. New Zealand and Australia have also commercial dairy farming.

    Industrial development on Animal Resources. The rearing of large number of animals or major species has given rise to some important industries in different regions of the world. The industries so developed commercially on animal resources are

  • (i) Meat,
  • (ii) Dairying,
  • (iii) Wool,
  • (iv) Leather,
  • (v) Poultry.

    Next: Lumbering in the Temperate Forests

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