research

Research

Subproject 4

WP4.1 Development of improved preventive management strategies for endo- and ectoparasites and bacterial zoonoses of pigs and poultry

WP4.2 Development of alternative treatment strategies for of endo- and ectoparasites of pigs and poultry

WP4.3 Develop strategies to augment non-immune system based defence mechanisms against gastrointestinal diseases in the pig

WP4.4 Development of nutritional strategies to improve production efficiency, sensory quality and food safety in organic pork production systems

WP4.5 Development of efficient farm and/or farmer group specific mastitis prevention plans

WP4.6 Development of bovine feeding regimes, which improve production efficiency, microbiological safety and/or sensory quality of milk

Subproject 4

Development of strategies to improve quality and safety and reduce cost of production in organic and “low input” livestock production systems

Consumer perceptions about benefits to human health, animal welfare and the environment associated with (a) restrictions on the use veterinary medicines, (b) lower stocking densities (c) outside rearing systems, (d) feeding regimes based on species specific requirements (e.g. forage based diets for ruminants) and (e) the non-use of GM-based feeds have been shown to be major reasons for the increase in demand for organic and “low input” food from crop production systems.

However, recent consumer surveys show that the price premiums for organic livestock products (especially the extremely high premiums for meat from poultry, pork and beef production systems) are the main factor preventing a more rapid expansion of organic food consumption. In the future concern about increased health risks associated with enteric pathogen transfer in organic and “low input” production systems may also affect consumer demand, and therefore need to be addressed.

In addition to these demand-side aspects there are supply side factors. There are technological “bottlenecks” in organic and “low input” livestock production systems, which affect quality and safety of organic and “low input” foods as well as the cost of production. In particular there are gaps in our knowledge relating to: (4.1) the control of endo and ecto-parasites, (4.2) alternatives to antibiotics for the control of gastrointestinal infections and mastitis, (4.3) methods to minimise risk from pathogen transfer into the food chain, (4.4) feeding regimes which improve meat quality and minimise amino acid imbalances in monogastric production systems and (4.5) the problem of negative energy balances in dairy systems, while improving milk quality.

It is therefore essential to improve food quality and safety, and the efficiency (=reduction of cost to the consumer) of livestock production systems, while ensuring that consumers and authorities can maintain confidence in the wider societal benefits (beneficial effect on animal welfare, the environment, biodiversity and sustainability of livestock production systems) of organic and “low input” livestock production systems. This will be achieved in Subproject 4 through the following six main workpackages:

Workpackage 4.1 will develop improved preventive strategies for controlling endo- and ectoparasites and bacterial zoonoses of pigs and poultry.

Workpackage 4.2 will develop alternative treatment strategies for controlling endo- and ectoparasites of pigs and poultry.

Workpackage 4.3 will develop methods to augment non-immune system based defence mechanisms against gastrointestinal diseases in the pig.

Workpackage 4.4 will develop strategies to improve sensory quality and food safety of pork without the use of amino-acid supplements, while improving production efficiency within organic farming conditions.

Workpackage 4.5 will develop efficient farm and/or farmer group specific mastitis prevention plans.

Workpackage 4.6 will develop bovine feeding regimes which improve production efficiency, microbiological safety and/or sensory quality of milk.

Novel livestock production strategies and methods developed under SP4 will be the subject of impact analyses (WP7.1 and WP7.2) and the most appropriate strategies/methods of dissemination (under WP7.3) and will be included in Training activities (under WP7.4) of the integrated project.

The work is organised into separate sub-workpackages with specific deliverables and milestones. The integration of workpackages within subproject 4 and the integration of subproject 4 with other subprojects are shown in the graphic presentation.




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