Ilias Kyriazakis, project coordinator, explains how the 22 academic and industry partners involved in the project are taking an innovative approach to address the health challenges in pig and poultry production. Unlike previous attempts to address pig and poultry diseases, PROHEALTH approached the problems in a holistic way, looking at the perspective of the animal, the environment and the pathogen. The focus is on developing applications which control diseases, but also are economical for farmers and acceptable to consumers.
Jarrko Niemi of the Natural Resources Institute Finland presents findings emphasizing the importance of public support in managing poultry production diseases. Production diseases such as coccidiosis and injurious feather pecking can cause substantial economic losses if they are not controlled properly. To control disease and ensure poultry production is sustainable, it is vital for the public to appreciate that certain housing conditions and control measures are needed to preserve bird health and welfare. To foster discussion it’s important to share information about which certain practices are used in order to increase acceptability of certain management practices.
Jens Peter Christensen of the University of Copenhagen presents his research looking at poultry mortality associated with E. coli. As well as explaining new findings revealing that E. coli can be transmitted from broiler breeders to offspring, he describes the interventions farmers should be taking — such as vaccination — to limit the risk of E. coli impacting on their flocks
Ivan Rychlik of Brno’s Veterinary Research Institute describes a study he conducted in which he analysed thousands of samples taken from pigs and chicken to identify which bacteria are associated with high and low-performing herds and flocks. Using the positive bacteria, his team then created a probiotic mixture that they proved could increase resistance to salmonella by 100-fold, and increase resistance to campylobacter by 10-fold.
Ghent University’s Tommy van Limbergen describes his team’s research into the risk factors associated with poultry production diseases. By analysing technical performance, welfare and antibiotics use across 400 broiler farms in seven countries, they identified that farm management is crucial to performance, health and welfare of broilers.
Neil Foster describes work being carried out at the University of Nottingham to develop diagnostic markers for two production diseases, necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis.