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Projects aim to improve feed efficiency, meat quality

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and 11 other institutions have been awarded GBP2.2 million (US$2.7 million), allowing for three projects that will work to improve livestock feed efficiency and meat quality in Britain, according to a press release from SRUC.

Fat Pigs And Sows Eat In Livestock Of The Farm
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Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and 11 other institutions have been awarded GBP2.2 million (US$2.7 million), allowing for three projects that will work to improve livestock feed efficiency and meat quality in Britain, according to a press release from SRUC.

The financing was awarded by the Government’s Innovate UK Fund to the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), a consortium of 12 animal science research institutes, including SRUC, which work with industry to raise the levels of food production and quality.

According to the CIEL website, through CIEL, the livestock industry will be able to access:

  • A direct link between science and practice to enable faster and deeper innovation
  • Access to infrastructure with industry and innovation to develop commercial products and services
  • Faster rates of innovation and discovery in livestock research and development
  • Talent, skill and training
  • Pre-competitive research to address strategic priorities for a competitive and sustainable livestock industry
  • Project management and contract handling service

The projects funded by the new financing will focus on animal diets, meat quality and sheep production:

1. A feed mill designed specifically to manufacture experimental pig and poultry diets under accurate and precise conditions

“There are very few facilities available in Europe able to achieve what we are aiming for in this new unit,” said Nick Sparks, animal and veterinary sciences group manager. When combined with the new poultry growing facilities that CIEL and SRUC are investing in and the pig and poultry facilities already existing in the CIEL consortium, the new feed manufacturing mill gives our pig and poultry industry world-leading research capability.”

2. A laboratory equipped to develop faster ways to measure meat quality with information used in animal breeding programs

“Particular attention will be given to maintenance costs of mature ewes since the national ewe flock is a major consumer of livestock food and land area to produce it. It is estimated that raising feed efficiency this way could save the U.K. sheep industry GBP30m,” said Mike Coffey, team leader animal and veterinary sciences.

3. A facility that utilizes sensor technology to make sheep production more efficient by identifying the animals with the best feed conversion

“Our goal with these investments is Innovation. True innovation will be new ways of doing things that are widely adopted by industry. That will come if they are demonstrably more profitable, more efficient or make farming and food production more sustainable. Industry is the key partner in CIEL if we are to make this happen,” said Mark Young, head of innovation for CIEL.

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