Population growth and ever-increasing competition for land, food, water, and energy is forcing livestock industries to improve the efficiency with which they can produce their products.
Growth promoters, metabolic modifiers, and management strategies require constant development and research to ensure that these industries remain profitable.
As incomes increase in the burgeoning economies, so does the demand for high-quality animal proteins such as meat, milk, and eggs; thus, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations suggests that food requirements will increase by 70% by 2050 (Anonymous, 2009)
There are metabolic modifiers such as recombinant porcine somatotropin, dietary β-agonists, hormone growth promotants, and an immunocastration vaccine available for some livestock industries. However, there is mounting resistance from retailers and consumer groups who advocate that food should be produced naturally.
There is overwhelming evidence for the continued use and development of new growth-promoting technologies, but retailers and consumer groups as well as artificial trade barriers may yet prove to be too disruptive.