Reports, Case Studies & Assessments

Policies and regulations for promoting manure management for sustainable livestock production in China: a review


Livestock numbers in China have more than tripled between 1980 and 2017. The increase in the number of intensive livestock production systems has created the challenges of decoupled crop and livestock systems, low utilization of manures in croplands, and subsequent environmental pollution. Correspondingly, the government has enacted a series of policies and regulations to increase the sustainability of livestock production. This paper reviews the objectives of these policies and regulations and their impacts on manure management. Since 2017 there have been two policy guides to speed up the appropriate use of manures, three action plans for increasing manure recycling, and one technical guide to calculate nutrient balances. Requirements of manure pollution control and recycling for improved environmental performance of livestock production systems were included in three revised environmental laws. Most recent survey data indicate that the utilization of livestock manures was 70% in 2017, including that used as fertilizer and/or for production of energy. The targets for manure utilization are 75% in 2020 and 90% in 2035. To achieve these targets and promote ‘green livestock production’, additional changes are needed including the use of third-party enterprises that facilitate manure exchange between farms and a more integrated manure nutrient management approach.