BSAS/WPSA 2011: Meeting Focuses On Food Security

UK - 'Food Security: Challenges and Opportunities for Animal Science' was the theme of this year's joint meeting of the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS), BBSRC Animal Science Forum, UK branch of the World's Poultry Science Association (WPSA) and the Association for Veterinary Teaching and Research Work, writes Jackie Linden, senior editor of TheCattleSite.
calendar icon 5 April 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

The two-day meeting, which started at the University of Nottingham yesterday (4 April), was billed as the UK's premier animal science conference this year and, with a new venue and strong attendance, it looks ready to meet all expectations.

One of the days' highlights was the presentation of the Hammond Memorial Lecture by Professor Sir John Beddington, the UK Government's Chief Scientific Advisor, who spoke on the topic, 'Food Security in the 21st Century' to a packed lecture theatre. In a thought-provoking presentation, he followed up on a recently published Foresight Report on Global Food and Farming Futures, in which a broad range of experts described areas that need to be covered to feed a growing world population healthily, equitably and sustainably as well as the role of agriculture in climate change.

Current food systems are failing for the point of view of sustainability, Sir John said and there is a need to develop what he called 'climate-smart' agriculture for both livestock and crop production in future.

As part of the WPSA meeting, the 28th Annual Robert Fraser Gordon Memorial Lecture was presented by Professor Marian Dawkins of the University of Oxford, who spoke on 'Commercial-Scale Assessment of Poultry Welfare', which she said was necessary for both research and auditing purposes. Using examples from her own work, she highlighted the potential benefits and pitfalls of small-scale and commercial scale trials for the assessment of animal welfare.

Professor Dawkins went on to describe an innovative solution to the monitoring of one measure of broiler welfare – that of gait score – using optical flow data from a camera system. She and her team have found the method to give a very good overall assessment of gait score of broilers on a commercial scale, inexpensively and reliably.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this conference by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on the Foresight Report by clicking here.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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