A livestock system is a productive unit, but in addition, if it pursues an optimal use of natural resources, it can increase overall sustainability. In order to evaluate the fulfillment of this objective, it is necessary to carry out a diagnosis of the system to describe and evaluate its degree of sustainability. One methodological option for this diagnosis is the construction of sustainability indicators. The MESMIS method is a methodological tool that analyses the interrelations between the results of the environmental, social and economic dimensions through a battery of indicators. The aim of this work is to assess the sustainability, using the MESMIS methodology, of different management systems of a sample of dairy sheep farms in Castilla y León (Spain). In general, the semi-extensive group obtained the highest overall score (8.40), and the intensive group achieved the highest volume of productivity. In conclusion, semi-extensive systems were more sustainable than intensive or semi-intensive systems in all attributes, especially those related to stability, adaptability and equity.
Part of the book: Sheep Farming