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Science Behind Large-scale Livestock Production

13 March 2013

UK - The potential effects of large-scale livestock production on animal health and welfare, the environment and consumers is set to be debated at an event dedicated to solely looking at the science behind the issue.

The British Society of Animal Science conference, Does Big Mean Bad?, aims to reveal the truth about whether large-scale livestock production has a role to play in producing safe, affordable, nutritious food to high welfare standards.

The two-day event, in association with the Biosciences Knowledge Transfer Network and Royal Agricultural Society of England and held at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh University on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 May 2013, will see experts from around the world discuss the latest scientific evidence around large-scale livestock production.

Speakers including Professor Roger Campbell from CRC Pork Australia and DairyCo’s Dr Jenny Gibbons will look at areas including animal health and welfare, facility and system design and environmental management to identify what we really know and where work still needs to be done.

As well as drawing on industrial experience and views from countries where large units are already operating, the conference will also look at where novel solutions such as new technology can solve old problems and concerns.

Aimed at producers, processors, retailers, policy makers and those with an interest in animal health and welfare alike, the main focus of the event will be on systems for pig, poultry and dairy production.

The event will include case studies of current systems and a look ahead to what’s next.

"This event is a must for anyone with an interest in how we are going to feed a growing population in a way which produces nutritious, safe food while ensuring animal welfare," says BSAS chief executive Mike Steele.

"The potential effects of large-scale livestock production is a subject which divides opinion and causes emotions to run high.

"Some argue it reduces the environmental impact of farming, increases food security and improves animal welfare. Others say it is a potential animal welfare disaster and is bad for both livestock and human health.

"This conference wants to take a balanced look at what is really known about the possible impact of running large livestock units, what can science tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of such systems and where any gaps in knowledge lie.”

Tickets for the event are available via the BSAS website at www.bsas.org.uk/events or by calling 0131 650 8784.

Discounts are available for BSAS members and students and for those who book before 1 May.

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