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EPC 2010 - Not Just a European Poultry Conference

24 August 2010

FRANCE - The European Poultry Conference (EPC) opened in the city of Tours today, with a strong attendance from almost 70 countries, making it much more than a European event, reports Jackie Linden, editor of ThePoultrySite.

The 13th European EPC and the fine city of Tours in the Loire valley have attracted many delegates from all over the world. On the first day, the count had already reached more than 1,200 participants from 69 countries from North and South America, right across Europe and Asia to Australia and New Zealand.

In his welcome address, Dr Michel Duclos, chairman of the scientific committee, explained that this conference, the 13th in the series, offers a dense and diverse programme over the coming three days. There will be six plenary sessions, 36 parallel sessions on special topics and almost 600 posters have been accepted for presentation over two sessions. Additions to the conference programme include satellite sessions organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation on small-scale poultry production in developing countries.

Professor Achille Franchini of Italy, the outgoing president of the European Federation of the World's Poultry Science Association (WPSA), highlighted that this conference marks the 50th anniversary of the EPC. He went on to stress the importance of the European Federation in not only keeping poultry research in the minds of the funding organisations and the European Commission but also in helping to correct the public's misconceptions about the poultry industry. There must be more interaction with the public and other people working outside the industry, he said.

Dr Gilles Salvat described the work of ANSES, the new agency in France that covers food safety – like its predecessor, AFSSA – but now also environmental and occupational health and safety. Its scope includes plants, animals and humans. With 1,350 agents and an annual budget of €130 million, the agency publishes 250 scientific papers per year.

Dr Benoit Malpaux represented INRA, explaining that this National Institute for Agronomic Research was established in 1946 and now has 9,000 staff in 20 research centres across the country and an annual budget of €770 million. In a recent review, INRA focussed on global food security as its main theme for research in the coming years. For poultry, this means helping the industry to meet ever more challenging societal demands regarding animal welfare and environmental impacts, he explained, balanced with the need to supply tasty, nutritious and safe foods. Recent work includes investigations into sequential feeding, the RESCAPE project (on egg susceptibility to contamination) as well as a chicken gene that affects meat colour.

Closing the welcome session, Professor Yves Nys, chairman of EPC 2010, expressed his satisfaction that of the 1,200 delegates, 54 per cent represent the poultry industry and 45 per cent are from universities and institutes, so that the EPC will be a great event to bring industry and science together.

At the end of today's proceedings, it was announced that Professor Nys will take over the role of president of the European Federation from Professor Franchini and that Professor Michael Grashorn of Germany will be the new secretary/treasurer, taking over from Dr Colin Whitehead.

The next EPC will be hosted by the Norwegian branch of the WPSA. It will take in Stavanger on 23 to 27 June 2014.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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