For the past forty years, the livestock farming industry has committed to the application of modern technologies to improve livestock productivity and hence increase the income of livestock farmers. With breed improvement, use of machinery and automated facilities, and the advancement of production technologies, livestock production volume and value have both increased sharply. All this has helped expand the scale of highly intensive local farms. Without corresponding increase in land for waste treatment and reuse, however, domestic livestock industry has given rise to widespread environmental concerns.
Recent Initiatives and Achievements
- Assisted with the establishment of wastewater treatment plants:
At present, 93% of farms with 200 pigs or above and over 40% of goat and cow farms have already installed wastewater treatment facilities.
- Promoted livestock and poultry excrement recycling and reuse:
The livestock and poultry excrement reuse rate in Taiwan has already reached 80%. In order to encourage farmers to collect fresh animal wastes and sell well-fermented manure for profit, the government has established 32 large processing centers and 5,000-odd makeshift compost barns.
- Established a livestock geographic data system:
The government has commissioned the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology to establish a data base of domestic livestock farm locations via the satellite positioning technology and of relevant pollution prevention facility information. Data on farm transformation will be established later under separate arrangement.
- Assisted with wastewater examination:
The government has helped the animal disease prevention centers at various cities and counties to establish a wastewater inspection lab. Four of these established labs have been certified by the ROC Environmental Protection Administration.
- Assisted local governments to develop independent administration:
The government has provided support to for various cities and counties to administer joint inspection to help prevent livestock pollution, particularly those pig-farm concentrated counties such as Changhua, Yunlin, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Pintung.
- Established technical support systems:
The government has set up several technical support systems to provide appropriate and needed guidance for livestock farms with respect to pollution prevention, including wastewater treatment, air pollution (odor) abatement and compost manure production.
- Involved industrial organizations:
The government has successfully involved various industrial organizations in relevant activities such as wastewater inspection, facility failure reporting, facility component maintenance and routine reporting, in order to serve their respective members more directly and to boost efficiency in pollution control.
- Perfected the regulatory framework for shared waste treatment institutions:
The government has enacted the Management Rules on Agricultural Waste Co-Treatment Institutions pursuant to the "Waste Treatment Law" to better assist farmers' associations to raise funds or forms partnership for the establishment of a shared waste treatment institution.
Future Plans and Tasks
To ensure compliance with the increasingly strict environmental laws and to create an image of environmental friendliness for livestock farms, the government will focus on the following areas while maintaining all its past promotional efforts:
- Bring in public health issues:
The government will study relevant statistics on the impact of livestock production on public health as a basis for the formulation of effective counter measures, particularly with respect to the resolutions for drug and heavy metal residues in animal excrement and the restoration of rivers polluted by livestock farming.
- Promote waste reduction and reuse:
In light of the gradually depleting resources, the government will encourage broader technology application on barn design, production management, feed formulation, wastewater recycling and reuse, and production flow adjustment to help livestock farms to conserve water, reduce waste and recycle resources.
- Enlarge industrial organization involvement:
In addition to assisting farmers to comply with environmental regulations and to properly operate relevant pollution prevention equipment, the industrial organizations need to learn from trade unions and to develop direct dialogue with environmental groups to establish mutual trust, and even to take part in the formulation or revision of livestock related environmental laws.
- Help farmers keep abreast with environmental regulation development:
To cope with the constantly evolving environmental concepts and growing awareness of environmental protection, domestic legislations are being updated frequently in recent years. Therefore, the government will provide necessary assistance to local farmers to help them gain knowledge about environmental laws and conform to relevant requirements.
- Manage the reuse of agricultural waste:
The government will enact relevant management rules on the reuse of agriculture waste according to the Waste Treatment Law, to properly regulate the management of agriculture waste reuse.
- Reinforce local government administration and technical support:
With the implementation of local supporting systems, the local governments will be required to share the responsibility of farmers'well-being and to incorporate a technical support system into local administration.