The production of food from animal origin is relatively stable in the industrialised world. However, animal production systems are changing dramatically with respect to location, herd size and specialisation. Increased pressure from a critical public is moving animal-based production towards systems such as organic production and loose-housing systems which allow the animals to better express normal behaviour. The focus on food safety promotes systems with a high degree of biosecurity, often associated with an increase in herd size and self-containment. The globalisation of agricultural trade and increased competition also favours an increase in herd size and specialisation. These trends also lead to regions with livestock-dense areas, giving rise to environmental concerns. Therefore, good farming practice regulations and systems to provide a higher level of transparency, such as quality risk management programmes, are being developed.