Global livestock supply chains are transforming in response to the increasing demand for animal-source food and have affected nitrogen use and emissions, with repercussions on environmental and public health. A framework of indicators was developed to estimate the magnitude of nitrogen use and emissions in global livestock supply chains. Results show that the livestock is responsible for one-third of human-induced nitrogen emissions, which are concentrated in two regions. There are large variabilities of nitrogen use indicators across species and systems, indicating that best practices are available to support mitigation options. For instance, feeding swill to industrial pigs can improve nitrogen use efficiency and abate emissions. Designing Improvement interventions should consider potential trade-offs and synergies with other sustainability dimensions, such as climate change, resource scarcity, public health and food security. Nitrogen challenges are global and cannot be tackled without considering the contribution of the livestock sector.