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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the changes in the location of cow herds around 11 biggest Polish cities in 1960, 1973, 1996 and 2010. Membership of districts was determined based on the smallest distance between the district’s capital and one of the 11 central cities. The area surrounding the cities was split into eight 25-kilometer rings; the last (eighth) ring constitutes territories located over 175 km away from the nearest central city. Calculations were based on cow numbers and area of agricultural land at a district level. This allowed to specify cow density per 100 hectares of agricultural land. The study found that changes occurred in the distribution of cow numbers in territories surrounding central cities. Semi-peripheral areas located around the biggest central cities witnessed a reduction in cow density. This suggests that these territories are anticipated to be used for urban development purposes. These processes gained momentum only after 1990. Conversely, this trend was not observed in agglomerations with a population of less than one million. Milk production was mainly relocated to peripheral areas (located 50 to 124 km away from central cities defined in this study). The intensification of environmental measures in Europe suggests that action be taken to slow down the territorial concentration of cow herds in Poland. This study also confirmed the theory by Sinclair who claimed that animal production should be located in remote areas.

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