Is Danish venison production sustainable?

Henrik Saxe

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    It is a popular notion in Denmark that we should include more ingredients in our diet which are gathered, caught or hunted in nature rather than grown and harvested on farmed fields and waters. These ingredients include commodities like seafood, seaweed, mushrooms, herbs and venison (meat from free-ranging wildlife). In the recommendations for the New Nordic Diet, the Danish consumers are, among other recommendations advised to consume 35 % less meat, with more than 4 % of the consumed meat being venison (Meyer et al. 2011). This may be an impossible target. The “wild” ingredients in a modern diet are all assumed to be both healthy and environmentally sustainable. But is this always true? More research is needed! The present study seeks to answer the question: ‘Does venison have less impact on the environment than the organic and conventionally produced meat types they replace?’ Six types of venison are considered: Red deer, roe deer, fallow deer, wild boar, pheasant and mallard. The environmental impact related to the hunting-related infrastructure, fodder or game fields, hunting, transport, etc. is analysed by consequential life cycle assessment (cLCA). Monetizing the environmental impacts makes it possible to compare the environmental impact of the six types of venison with farmed and industrially produced meat. Venison of red deer, roe deer, fallow deer and wild boar are compared with beef, pork and lamb production. Mallard and pheasant are compared with chicken production. Preliminary results suggest that red deer production is twice as sustainable as beef production, while wild boar production is half as sustainable as pork production. One challenge in the environmental analyses of venison is that hunting typically has other purposes than food production. These include the recreational value of hunting, nature management and tourism. This study focuses on the meat produced commercially by one of two major Danish venison abattoirs – Klosterhedens Vildt abattoir in North Western Jutland – and their main suppliers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAbstract Book - DTU Sustain Conference 2014
    Number of pages1
    Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby
    PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
    Publication date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventDTU Sustain Conference 2014 - Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark
    Duration: 17 Dec 201417 Dec 2014


    ConferenceDTU Sustain Conference 2014
    LocationTechnical University of Denmark
    Internet address


    Dive into the research topics of 'Is Danish venison production sustainable?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this