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National Research Institute of Animal Production joins the EU Partnership Animal Health and Welfare project

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The European Commission has announced the results of the competition Fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food systems from primary production to consumption (HORIZON-CL6-2023-FARM2FORK-01).

As of 1 January 2024, the National Research Institute of Animal Production, as part of a consortium of ninety-one partners from 24 EU and non-EU countries, under the leadership of Ghent University, will start a cooperation planned for 10 years, within the framework of the European Partnership for Animal Health and Welfare (PAHW). Two units from Poland are participating in the project, including the National Research Institute of Animal Production and the National Veterinary Research Institute.

The starting point for the planned work was the adoption of an ambitious partnership approach based on common priorities, in line with the idea of European partnerships bringing together the European Commission and private and/or public partners to address Europe’s most pressing challenges through joint research and innovation initiatives.

The thematic scope of the approved tasks covers two main areas: Animal Health (infectious diseases in animals, including public health implications) and Animal Welfare (welfare of farm animals, terrestrial and aquatic animals, wild animals and companion animals).

The objectives of the partnership are: to strengthen preparedness for upcoming and emerging threats to animals and humans, to promote and support animal welfare, to generate innovative methodologies and products, in the defined area of action, to support the legislative process on animal health and welfare. The expected results of the planned activities will be: reduction of the socio-economic and environmental impact of infectious animal diseases, improvement of animal welfare, economic analysis of the profitability of protected farms, safe food and public health benefits.

The National Research Institute of Animal Production will be involved in four thematic areas:

OO6 – Action 1. Animal welfare & sustainability

Subtask 1.1 Identification of systems promoting animal welfare

Task 2: Development of a shared methodology for a multi-criteria assessment of sustainability

Task 4. Dissemination at the territorial/national/European regional level

OO4 – Action 1. Assessment of positive welfare; defining animal-based measures

Task 2.2. Experimental validation of indicators of positive affective states using cognitive bias tests

Task 2.3. Relationship between potential indicators of positive affective states and situations and resources that are preferred and valued by the animals

Task 3.1 Short-term protocol including considerations on how to aggregate positive and negative indicators of affect

Task 3.2 Long-term protocol including considerations on how to combine indicators of positive and negative affect into a final ‘affect balance’

OO8 – Action 1. The role of the immune system of food producing animals

ST 4.1 Viral and vaccine-induced immune responses in pigs

OO5 – Action 4. Reinforcement of animal resilience

Task 1: Establish a pan-European network of experts in genetics (breeding), feed additives including pre- and probiotics applied ethology, stress physiology and immunology

Task 3: Study the (combined) effects of genetics, feeding and management practices on resilience and health traits and welfare

Project contact:

Dorota Godyń, Ph.D. Eng. dorota.godyn@kinga-gwozdz
Anna Orchel-Szeląg, M.Sc.