Download the SusTradeOff factsheet pdf 


Understanding trade-offs between health and efficiency to improve competitiveness and sustainability of animal production by breeding and management

Challenge - It is hypothesised that intense selection for traits such as live weight gain and egg/milk yield in production animals has resulted in resources being allocated within the animals to production, at the expense of other physiological processes such as immune function.

Objectives - This project aims to develop cutting edge technologies to study the allocation of different dietary proteins between production and immune function in sheep and poultry, and how this allocation is affected by stage of production, disease, vaccination or genetics.

Expected results - Biological materials and proteomics technologies will first be developed to study these trade-offs at the individual animal level. This will facilitate the identification of protein sources and/or targeted protein supplementation to enhance or maintain immune functions in the face of high production programmes demands. Population studies on experimental and commercial lines will investigate trade-offs between resilience, immunocompetence and production, providing additional genotypes and phenotypes to select in balanced breeding programmes.

Potential Impact - Data integration and modelling will provide prediction models for trade-offs and decision making tools that will then be validated at the production level with breeding industry partners under commercial conditions using industry standard operational scenarios. Integrated animal health and production management strategies will improve the competitiveness and sustainability of animal production.

Coordinated by: Dr. Marie-Hélène Pinard-van der Laan - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative (FRANCE) - Contact

Funded by: ANR, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - génétique Physiologie et Systèmes d'Elevage, Institut Technique Aviculture, DAFA, Okologisk Landsforening, NWO, Hendrix Genetics, Cobb-vantress, Moredun Research institute and DEFRA 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)

9 research partners:

  • DENMARK: Aarhus University and Okologisk landsforening
  • FRANCE: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique – Génétique Physiologie et Systèmes d’Elevage, Institut de l’Elevage and Institut Technique Aviculture
  • THE NETHERLANDS: Wageningen University and Research, Hendrix Genetics and Cobb-vantress
  • UNITED KINGDOM: University of Edinburgh and Moredun Research Institute

More information

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