Animals and Sustainability

Course content

Content

The course will address the following subjects and issues relating to the use of animals in a sustainability context at the enterprise and farm level

 

Introduction – sustainability and decision making

-The three aspects of sustainability (environmental, social, economic).

-The importance of studying how the three aspects of sustainability are related and impact each other.

-Decision case studies and the importance of stakeholder roles.

-Decision making in complex situations, when different aspects of sustainability should be considered.

 

Environmental sustainability

-Animal husbandry and interactions with the environment and impacts on the atmospheric, aquatic and terrestrial environment

-Technological opportunities for minimizing negative environmental impacts of animal activities

-Natural resource and nutrient flows perspectives of international trade with fodder, animal derived food, live animals and other products related to the animal sector

-Methods for assessing environmental impacts and sustainability of different animal production systems or uses, with a main focus on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).

 

Social sustainability

-Understanding stakeholder involvement and different views of sustainability

-Method to map stakeholders according to their power and interests in sustainability (PI grid)

- Distinguishing between generic sustainability dimensions (e.g. human wellbeing) and contextual dimensions of sustainability (e.g. food quality, animal welfare)

-Operationalization of social sustainability through choice of indicators (quantitative and qualitative) 

 

Economic sustainability

- The economic understanding of sustainability

- The concepts of weak and strong sustainability.

- Operationalization of social sustainability through choice of indicators (e.g. costs per kg output)

- Economic optimization, externalities and farm animal welfare

- Determining measures to increase sustainability (regulatory and market- based)

- Economic methods to assess sustainability (marginal trade-off, profit maximization, non-market valuation, cost-benefit, multicriteria decision analysis) 

 

Classroom teaching, group work, and guest lectures will take place in the first 7 weeks of the course. The students will complete and submit group reports in the 8th week and take exams in the 9th week.

Education

MSc Programme in Animal Science - compulsory
MSc Programme in Environment and Development - restricted elective

Learning outcome

Learning Outcome

The objective of the course is to enable students to independently perform a scientifically sound and holistic analysis and evaluation of sustainability in its widest sense (economical, environmental, and societal) of industries, farms, and other animal husbandry enterprises pertaining to the animal sector.

 

Furthermore, the course provides students with the knowledge to understand the external (international) factors and the instruments that can be applied to develop a sector in a given direction to enhance the sustainability of its products, activities, or services.

 

At the end of the course the student should be able to:

Knowledge:

- Understand sustainability aspects, dimensions, and indicators,

- Understand multi-criteria and methods for analyzing sustainability

- Explain the mechanisms leading to environmental consequences of animal husbandry and the factors controlling environmental impacts

- Understand methods for analyzing environmental impacts and the theory and principles behind life cycle assessment

- Understand social sustainability and how it relates to the given context and other aspects of sustainability

Skills:

-Describe relevant dimensions of each of the three aspects of sustainability for a given animal-related activity

- Identify relevant indicators measuring relevant dimensions of the three aspects of sustainability for a given animal-related activity.

- Apply relevant methods for analysis and evaluation of relevant dimensions of sustainability.

- Interpret and integrate the result of environmental, economic, and social sustainability assessments of various production chains or animal-related activities.

 

Competencies:

- Scientifically analyze the level of sustainability of a given animal (production) system.

- Elaborate sustainability considerations for a given animal-related activity and development trends influencing these.

- Discuss and suggest appropriate measures to improve the sustainability of a given animal sector or activity, and how these can be implemented, based on a given stakeholder role.

• Lectures and exercises
• Group work with defined case studies of relevance to the animal sector, illustrating all aspects of sustainability

Evaluation model: Survey-based model


New scientific articles and book chapters will be identified and links provided during the course.

Academic literature identification, interpretation and evaluation are core elements due to the project nature of the course.

BSc in Animal Science (husdyrvidenskab) or equivalent.

Oral
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes under invigilation
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Case report and oral exam.
Case study report; Weight: 34%.
Oral examination 20 minutes preparation for an unknown question chosen by the student, thereafter 20 minutes oral exam: Grade will be based on answer to the question and questions about the course curriculum. Weight: 66%.

Students in the same group cannot participate in their fellow student’s individual oral exam unless they have already had their own individual oral exam.
Exam registration requirements

The case study report must be submitted, presented and receive a passing grade.

Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal Censorship. More than one eksaminer.
Criteria for exam assessment

In order to obtain the highest grade (12), the student should be able to :

*

Knowledge:

- Understand sustainability aspects, dimensions, and indicators,

- Understand multi-criteria and methods for analyzing sustainability

- Explain the mechanisms leading to environmental consequences of animal husbandry and the factors controlling environmental impacts

- Understand methods for analyzing environmental impacts and the theory and principles behind life cycle assessment

- Understand social sustainability and its relationship to the other aspects  of sustainability

Skills:

- Describe relevant dimensions of each of the three aspects of sustainability for a given animal-related activity

- Identify relevant indicators measuring relevant dimensions of the three aspects of sustainability for a given animal-related activity

- Apply relevant methods for analyses and evaluation of relevant dimensions of sustainability

- Interpret and integrate the result of environmental, economic, and social sustainability assessments of various production chains or animal-related activities.

 

Competencies:

- Scientifically analyze the level of sustainability of a given animal (production) system

- Elaborate sustainability considerations for a given animal-related activity and development trends influencing these

- Discuss and suggest appropriate measures to improve sustainability of a given animal sector or activity, and how these can be implemented, based on a given stakeholder role.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Class Instruction
  • 10
  • Preparation
  • 22
  • Project work
  • 124
  • Guidance
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 10
  • English
  • 206

Kursusinformation

Language
English
Course number
SASA10153U
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master
Duration

1 block

There are no lectures in the 8th week of the course
Placement
Block 1
Schedulegroup
B
Capacity
60 students.
Studyboard
The Study Board for Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Contracting department
  • Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences
  • Department of Food and Resource Economics
  • Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Anni Øyan Pedersen   (10-6b78787338796f836b784a7d7f786e38757f386e75)
Teacher

Prof. Lars Stoumann Jensen; Assoc. Prof. Tove Christensen

Saved on the 03-04-2024

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