Strategies to control odours in livestock facilities: a critical review

Y. Ubeda, P. A. Lopez-Jimenez, J. Nicolas, S. Calvet


Odours generated in livestock buildings constitute one of the most relevant air quality issues of intensive livestock production. Reducing nuisance episodes related to odour exposure is therefore essential for a sustainable livestock production. In this study, the state-of-the-art on odour mitigation techniques in livestock housing is critically reviewed. Scientific advances in the last decade are revised and research needs are also identified. The complex nature of livestock odours is firstly reviewed and examined. Then, the most relevant odour control strategies are analyzed in terms of present knowledge and future needs. The strategies considered are: nutritional strategies, manure additives, building design, air filtration, manure covers, manure treatment systems and windbreaks. Finally, future research needs and priorities when establishing mitigation techniques are identified. Despite important recent advances, there are still some challenges for scientists, producers and regulators, particularly related to field evaluation of odours. Therefore, to control livestock odours effectively, using standardized field assessment techniques will be required. Also, investigating measurement and model errors may be useful to better understand the limitations of the current methods, as well as to identify research priorities.


odour emission; odour dispersion; odour mitigation; nuisance; olfactometry

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2013114-4180