UK research to feature at Gold Coast conference

UK - The latest research into ‘precision animal farming’ in the UK and how it could be applied in Australia will be featured at the Horizons in Livestock Research Conference at the Gold Coast International Hotel from 8-11 October.
calendar icon 13 September 2006
clock icon 3 minute read

Under its theme –The Farm of the Future – discussions at the conference will cover a wide range of issues including: the impact of energy and water shortages, climate change, the genomics revolution, precision farming and the role of complex systems science in agriculture.

A key speaker will be Professor Christopher Wathes from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London. Professor Wathes will discuss the contribution engineering can make to the development of precision livestock farming (PLF).

“PLF gives a farmer automatic, on-line control of the key production processes such as growth,” Professor Wathes says.

He says applying the technology to farm animals has great potential to transform livestock production, for example, through more efficient use of nutrients, early warning of ill health and reductions in pollutant emissions.

“Early research on PLF to control the growth of pigs and chickens had been completed in the UK,” Professor Wathes says. “To be commercially successful, the technology needs to be based on robust, low- cost sensing systems and data-based models with meaningful parameters.”

Professor Wathes is a Fellow of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers and a Royal Agricultural Society of England Research Medal winner. As a professor in Animal Welfare at the Royal Veterinary College and Chair of the UK’s Farm Animal Welfare Council his research and policy expertise in farm animal management is highly regarded throughout increasingly animal-welfare conscious Europe.

He will be joined by distinguished speakers from Spain, the US, China and India.

Former CSIRO Livestock Industries Chief, Shaun Coffey, will return from his new position as CEO, Industrial Research Limited – a New Zealand crown-owned technology company – to discuss how studies of livestock diet and genetics can help improve human health.

The conference is sponsored by Meat and Livestock Australia, Pfizer Animal Health, and supported by ICM Agribusiness and the QLD Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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