The potential effects of large-scale livestock systems on animal health and welfare are set to come under the spotlight during a special workshop looking at the future of livestock production.
The British Society of Animal Science will host the special session on large-scale livestock production as part of its 2014 Annual Conference, ‘Planning for Intensification’.
The workshop, which will form part of the society’s two-day event at the University of Nottingham on 29 and 30 April, will examine the latest science behind intensive livestock systems.
Exploring the potential effects on animal health and welfare, expert speakers will discuss system design and the technology and techniques being made use of in large-scale systems.
As part of the conference’s wider aim to examine the role of animal science and technology in global food production, the workshop will also identify areas where more work needs to be done to address concerns over how food is produced.
“In the face of growing world populations, diminishing resources and changing food demands, we have to look at alternative food production systems,” says BSAS chief executive Mike Steele.
“Understandably intensive production raises concerns for many, but it’s important to look behind the emotive arguments to see if we have the technology to address those concerns, and if not what can science do to help overcome them.
“It is right that livestock production systems are properly scrutinised and if we decide large-scale systems are not for us, we need to think about where animal science and technology goes next to help us produce secure, sustainable food.”
The workshop will sit alongside conference presentations from experts from around the world on the latest techniques, technologies and developments in animal science.
Aimed at farmers, vets, researchers and policy-makers, key presentations will focus on how technology is helping in sheep, dairy cattle and poultry production, as well as where science needs to develop to help farm businesses be profitable and productive in 2020.
The event will also host a dedicated session, run in conjunction with EBLEX, looking at improving ewe efficiency through better feeding, with a focus on efficient grass management, wintering diets and the role of good rationing.