In most pig and poultry farms in Europe animals are raised under intensive conditions, with large numbers of animals housed on the same site and/or sharing the same airspace. Producers try to optimise management, nutrition and housing to attain production targets. However, on many farms, animal health, welfare, and also production, may suffer because of various infectious and/or non-infectious challenges.
The PROHEALTH project aims to improve understanding of different production diseases in pigs and poultry kept in intensive systems across the EU and what makes such diseases thrive.
To achieve this, members of Ghent University developed ...
Does the farm environment (temperature, humidity, CO2 levels etc.) influence the appearance of certain animal diseases, and do these parameters influence the temporal expression of the diseases, such as when they appear and for how long they persist?
These are two of the questions that the PROHEALTH team aims to answer thanks to innovative approaches to on-farm data collection.
We know already that ambient temperature is a trigger for certain diseases and that poor water availability and humidity can predispose animals to illness. However, there is an overall lack of tangible data to demonstrate the link between farm ...
Communication of scientific research is vital in raising public awareness on critical societal challenges like food security. However… this is not an easy task as subject matter can be highly complex with a diverse target audience. In order to improve communication, there are a number of important questions to be answered:
Where and when do audiences go online? What do they want to know? Where do they look for information? How could we communicate information across the audience? Where do social media fit in?
Novel ‘social listening’ digital techniques allow us to crawl the internet to measure exactly where audiences of interest ...
Production diseases are diseases which persist in intensive animal production systems, and the more intensive the system, the more prevalent or severe such diseases become. These diseases, such as lameness in sows and post-weaning diarrhoea in pigs, or enteritis and locomotory problems in poultry, have a great impact worldwide.
The impact occurs because animal health and welfare is compromised, and there is a loss in performance, involving increased mortality and morbidity. Treatment and control of such diseases is the major reason for the use of antibiotics in the food chain.
At a time of continuing ...
Evaluation of the Danish footpad lesion surveillance system in relation to organic and conventional broilers
Inter-rater agreement of visual footpad dermatitis scoring in Danish broilers