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Severing the Link Between Deforestation & Cattle

This figure illustrates annual deforestation rates and the growth of the cattle herd in the Brazilian Amazon biome. From 1990 to 2004, there is evidence of a positive correlation between forest loss and cattle production, with both increasing during this period. However, post-2004, the rate of deforestation declines considerably, while the average rate of cattle production continues to increase.

Cattle production and deforestation trends in the Brazilian Amazon biome, 1990-201448
Chart from Gibbs et al. 2015

This helps demonstrate that cattle production does not need to come at the expense of forests. The cattle sector in the Brazilian Amazon can grow sustainably by increasing the productive capacity of existing pastures.

48. Gibbs, H.K., Munger, J., L’Roe, J., Barreto, P., Pereira, R., Christie, M., Amaral, T. and Walker, N.F. (2015). Did Ranchers and Slaughterhouses Respond to Zero Deforestation Agreements in the Brazilian Amazon? Conservation Letters.