NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by PROHEALTH consortium

What do consumers think about farm animal production?

Insights from a systematic literature review

The public are an important stakeholder at the end of the food chain, and as they are the end-users of food products, their opinions need to be taken into consideration in order to produce food that meets their needs. However, they are generally unfamiliar about production practices used in animal production.

Consumer views on production diseases are unknown

Two literature reviews on the public’s attitudes and willingness-to-pay for characteristics of animal products were conducted, including 80 and 54 studies respectively. Both reviews highlighted a research gap in relation to production diseases. In the willingness-to-pay literature, only four ...

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by PROHEALTH consortium

Improving piglet survival: How can genetics and management contribute?

As we apply genetic selection for more prolific sows, the challenges for piglet survival increase; piglets are smaller and more vulnerable at birth, face greater competition for the vital early colostrum intake, and are thus more at risk of dying from hypothermia, starvation and crushing. To address these challenges, the PROHEALTH project is investigating different genetic and management interventions which might improve the vitality of the newborn piglet and the maternal behaviour of the sow in order to reduce mortality risk.

Genetic approaches

A collaborative study between Newcastle University and the JSR Genetics breeding company is looking for new neonatal and maternal ...

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by PROHEALTH consortium

Does genetic selection for feed efficiency make pigs more susceptible to production diseases?

Results of three experimental studies conducted by PROHEALTH


A set of experiments of PROHEALTH was designed to investigate a hypothesis about genetic selection in pigs that has been repeatedly formulated, but so far was lacking scientific evidence: It was hypothesized that improved productive traits (e.g. growing fast or using feed efficiently) are gained at the expense of reduced robustness, i.e. reduced capacity of the animal to be in good health and to maintain its performance in suboptimal environments. The reasoning behind this hypothesis is that selection for productive traits might impact the metabolism of the animal in a way that ...

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

| by Prof Tim Benton

Food security and farming intensity

Sustainable Intensification of agricultural production, i.e. producing more from less, has been promoted as the way forward in meeting the challenges of global food security. This is relevant to the objectives of PROHEALTH, which focuses on sustainable control of production diseases in intensive pig and poultry production systems. Here Professor Tim Benton puts forward his views on how food production systems may look in the future. His suggestion is that Sustainable Intensification needs to be broadened by considering the production of higher quality, more sustainable, and even lower volumes of agricultural commodities. This is relevant to how pig and poultry ...