Food safety and public health
Production systems focus on consumer needs and food quality. Food quality can be defined by food safety, nutritional value, and sensory and technological quality. Improvement of food quality is an important aspect of animal breeding and has become more important over time; nutritional value, human health features, sensory qualities visual appeal, and processing characteristics can become targets for animal breeders nowadays.
Food safety is an important factor in animal breeding; its importance and the public concern have been rising over the years. Animal breeding and reproduction have limited direct possibilities in influencing food safety and public health. Indirect there are more possibilities in improving food safety; e.g. by decreasing the incidence of food-borne infections. Breeders organisations try to improve the natural genetic resistance of an animal; this decreases the need for medication and the occurrence of zoo noses, and improves food safety and human health improve.
Progress can be made in the animal breeding and reproduction sector through the selection of robust animals that adapt easily to the production environment. These animals will likely be less vulnerable for diseases, and thus the need for medicines decreases. This will decrease the risk of residues in animal-derived food. Besides, less disease vulnerable animals means a decrease in zoo-noses as well. Animals resistant to spreading zoonotic diseases, or a generally improved immune system would improve food safety and be beneficial for animal and human health.