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Food industry specialists come together for animal health and welfare event

20 February 2019, at 12:00am

UK - Progressing animal welfare will be the focus of an Animal Health and Welfare Day jointly hosted by the University of Bristol Veterinary School and continental meat supplier Winterbotham Darby next month on Thursday 7 March

This annual event, now in its fourth year, will bring together academics, researchers, NGOs, major retailers, journalists and industry partners across the food sector.

Topics across the day will include: technology used in farms to identify welfare issues, psychology of eating meat/dissonance, feed - a sustainable future, freedom farrowing, halal slaughter, labelling - customer attitudes, the cost to manage, enrich and improve environments for farm animals, African Swine Fever, health status of farm animals using volatile organic compounds and fluid borne markers. Delegates will also be able to tour the pig and poultry facilities and abattoir.

Providing a good life for farm animals requires not only that their most basic needs are met, but that they are offered opportunities for positive experiences. One of the speakers at the event will be Dr Siobhan Mullan, Senior Research Fellow in Animal Welfare at the Bristol Veterinary School, who will discuss cage-free laying hen farms and how they could act as a model for further investigation into effective ways to encourage good welfare for UK farm animals through post-Brexit farm payments.

Becky Whay, Professor of Animal Welfare and Behaviour at the Bristol Veterinary School, said: “It is increasingly clear that consumers are wanting assurances that their food has been produced in ways that recognise the paramount importance of animal welfare. However, the supply chain is complex and while farm methods are much better, there is still a need to improve them across Europe.”

David Houghton, Technical Director for Winterbotham Darby, added: “We are really excited to host this event in conjunction with the University of Bristol. Each year we see our delegate list grow - a testament to the fact that this is the only event of its kind. We want this event to be a facilitator of change and to motivate; we want to raise the profile of the challenges and solutions that we need to face into when it comes to animal welfare. Whilst it is a complex issue we’re really pleased that so many delegates are keen to join us.”

For further details about the event, including how to attend, click here

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2007-2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in the global poultry industry and agri-food chain.

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