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Sustainability of pig production through improved feed efficiency

Challenge - Genetic selection for improved feed efficiency is required for sustainable pig production but needs to take account of potential negative effects on animal health and welfare. Livestock production is moving towards an increased use of local feed resources and feedstuff co-products. This may require a different type of animal than those currently selected in intensive, high quality input – high output production systems.

Objectives - This study aims to enhance sustainability of European pig production through improved feed efficiency on local diets and feedstuff co-products. The objectives are in support of sustainable intensification, i.e. improving efficiency and productive output while maintaining animal health and welfare.

Expected results - Feed efficiency and robustness traits in response to local pig diets and feedstuff co-products will be evaluated in experimental and commercial pigs. An environmental and social life cycle assessment analysis will be performed on the impacts of pig production as enhanced by transforming low quality feed. In addition, future sustainable pig production systems will be modelled.

Potential Impact - Efficient use of resources will improve the productivity, resilience and competitiveness of European pig production. Environmental sustainability will be enhanced by transforming low quality, local feed resources and feedstuff co-products to meat. The goal is also to enhance animal welfare, breeding strategies and consumer acceptance of pig production and breeding practices.

Coordinated by: Dr. Wendy Rauw - Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (SPAIN) - Contact

Funded by: INIA, ANR, RCN, Formas, DEFRA, Iowa State University and University of New England as part of the ERA-NET Cofund SusAn through a virtual common pot model including EU Top-Up funding from the European Union´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement no 696231).

8 research partners:

  • FRANCE: Institut national de la recherché agronomique and Institut du Porc
  • NORWAY: Norges miljø- og biovitenskapelige universitet
  • SPAIN: Instituto Tecnológico Agrario
  • SWEDEN: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • UNITED KINGDOM: Newcastle University
  • USA: Iowa State University
  • AUSTRALIA: University of New England

More information

This project has been funded by INIA, ANR, RCN, FORMAS and DEFRA as a part of the ERA-Net Cofund SusAn (grantnr 696231) through a virtual common pot model with EU top-up.