#MeattheFacts: European livestock voice sets to balance the debate around livestock production
The livestock sector is today at the epicenter of public debates in Europe and beyond. These debates are now mainly dominated by interest groups who spread myths and radical views about livestock farming. Ever increasing on social media and in the press, these myths and opinions end up portraying a picture that is in stark contrast with the reality experienced and lived every day by thousands of European farmers and professionals on the ground. These debates have strong impacts on the views of European consumers on the role of animal products in their lifestyle choices and they push the livestock sector into an extremely defensive corner of society. This negatively affects the EU livestock farming model and policy framework, increasing the challenges faced by our farming communities to ensure their economic viability, generational renewal and their capacity to adapt to societal and environmental demands. Read the full press-release.
More members adopting Code-EFABAR 2017
Congratulations to Aviagen, Aviagen Turkeys, Cobb Europe, Axiom and Nucleus for adopting Code-EFABAR 2017!
Code-EFABAR is a voluntary code of good practice in support of responsible farm animal breeding. Responsible farm animal breeding is important for a sustainable and healthy food supply chain. By following Code-EFABAR, breeding organisations are demonstrating that they are committed to supporting a sustainable future. For more information about Code-EFABAR check out the official website www.responsiblebreeding.eu.
EFSA's New Campaign #EUandMyFood launched to promote EU Food Safety
EFSA, national food safety authorities in the EU Member States and the European Commission’s Health and Food Safety Directorate General are jointly launching a campaign called #EUandMyFood. The campaign’s aim is to remind EU citizens who benefit from the European food safety system that was created in 2002 under the General Food Law. “EU And My Food” is about safe and nutritious food. It’s about the health of our animals and how we treat them. It’s about taking care of our environment – the soil, water and air – which sustain the crops that produce so much of what we eat.
As a part of the campaign, series of short films and animations are created to promote the value of EU food safety:
EFFAB and FABRE TP Annual General Meeting in Dublin
EFFAB and FABRE TP members had a very efficient and interactive AGM in Dublin at the lovely UCD Campus on 15-16 May 2019. The topics discussed were mainly focused on Horizon Europe, FABRE TP session at EAAP 2019 conference in Ghent, genome editing and the ruling of ECJ. The plenary session and working group discussion focused on EFFAB and FABRE TP activities and challenges regarding EU projects, Horizon Europe, communication with society and Genome Editing. EU projects SAPHIR and FISHBOOST, two successful European projects that ended by the beginning of 2019, presented their results relevant to the animal breeding and reproduction industry. During the lunch and coffee breaks, IMAGE project was also present demonstrating their simulation tool for breeding programs: MoBPS – Modular Breeding Program Simulation. To follow-up on European projects, the highlights of Horizon Europe were explained by Florence Macherez from the Animal Task Force (ATF). The first day ended with a closing presentation from David McHugh (UCD), who explained targeted Genome Editing and its opportunities for infectious diseases in livestock.
Day two started with presentations from the EFFAB and FABRE TP Irish members. MOWI from the Irish aqua sector made a presentation about aquaculture breeding, focusing on the importance of disease resistance traits in the aqua sector and explained that heritability problems could be solved permanently through breeding. ICBF presented cattle breeding in Ireland and the excellent collaborations between the industry and research. External speaker Patrick Caruana from DG SANTE unit located in Grange (IE) explained their activities regarding health and food audits and policies for animal welfare, followed by an intensive discussion with the members. To close the plenary session of the second day, the IMAGE project and its highlights were further explained.
The meetings were quite successful and there was lots of discussion. Thank you to all that have participated in the meeting, and a special thanks to MOWI, ICBF, NCBC, UCD, TEAGASC and AIT for their contribution, UCD for hosting the meetings and our main external sponsor IdentiGen!
Next year the EFFAB and FABRE TP AGM will be hosted by Universidade de Evora and INIAV, in Portugal.
EFFAB TEAM SPIRIT IS RISING
On 11.12.2018, the EFFAB staff gathered for a half-day of team-building activities. The first activity was a workout provided by Tom Budding - owner of Fitcamp Renkum. Here, collective efforts in so-called buddy-workouts, were needed to complete a number of exercises. Afterwards, the EFFAB team saved the world playing a cooperative board game where the team needed to think of strategies to battle four infectious diseases. All in all a very successful day where our social relations were enhanced, and I am confident to say “EFFAB team spirit is rising”.
Tessa Brinker – office manager/project assistant EFFAB
New memberships of EFFAB and FABRE TP in European councils and associations
Tessa Brinker - new Industry Representative in EAAP Genetics commission
During the annual EAAP conference 2018 in Dubrovnik, Tessa Brinker was nominated by the EAAP Genetics commission to become their new Industry Representative. Tessa’s general knowledge on genetics and her current role at EFFAB and FABRE TP made her very suited for this role. The commission on Animal Genetics addresses all questions regarding the genetic mechanisms underlying performance, phenotype and behavior of farm animals, and also all aspects of how these trait complexes can be modified through means of breeding. The genetic sessions that the commission organizes each EAAP conference are generally well attended.
For information about the EAAP commission on Animal Genetics click here.
EFFAB new member of AAC (Aquaculture Advisory Council)
EFFAB was accepted as new member of AAC during their annual meeting on 13th of September 2018. The AAC is a balanced stakeholder representative organization created for consultation on elements of Union policies which could affect aquaculture under Articles 34 and 44 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013. For more information about AAC click here.
Final Infographic Methagene
Check it out - we wrapped up this project and these are the outcomes:
Press release ECJ C-528/16 Mutagenesis
Animal breeders continue to advocate the responsible use of breeding technologies despite the ruling C-528/16 of the European Court of Justice
The European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB) is aware of NGO´s and consumers´ concerns about GMO, gene editing (GE) or genome manipulation. Animal breeders don’t use GE to introduce genetic material from another species in the genome of animals, but intend to spread interesting characteristics and to accelerate processes that occur naturally through breeding over many generations and without introducing foreign genes.
EFFAB considers that the decision stating that organisms obtained by mutagenesis are GMO is a missed opportunity for Europe to continue to be a competitive producer of high quality and innovate food and it’s likely to hinder investment in animal production.
EFFAB encourages and asks the EU Commission, even considering this decision, to engage in a positive and constructive dialogue between scientists, food companies and consumers while building a legal and regulatory framework for safe animal innovation in Europe. A case by case analyse at European level for animal issued from new breeding techniques is necessary to help answer societal challenges for food production and this technology must continue to be a help in the future to nourish Europe in a healthier, safe and sustainable way, with European Innovation.
Download the PDF file below to read the whole press release:
Craig Lewis new chairman of EFFAB
At the Annual General Meeting of EFFAB in Vienna, Craig Lewis was appointed as the new Chairman of the Steering Committee of EFFAB. Craig is the successor of Xavier David, who resigned from the chair on February 5th, 2018.
Craig Lewis is Steering Committee member since 2915. Currently he is Genetic Services Manager for Genus PIC. As such he is based in Barcelona. In the Steering Committee Craig represents the pig breeding industry. Read the full press release here.
9th ATF Seminar
November 6, 2019, Brussels, Belgium
The Animal Task Force (ATF) will organise a seminar on 6 November, in Brussels. The morning session of the seminar aims to engage discussion with farmers, industries, scientists, policy makers and with the society. It is a follow up of the EAAP & ATF Special Session held during the EAAP Annual Meeting.
The afternoon session “What R&I can deliver to support climate mitigation and adaptation in livestock farming”, is organised by the ATF and the Fitter Livestock Farming Project Group. You may watch the video about the afternoon session here.
The Fitter Livestock Farming Project Group (PG) is a cluster of six research projects (FEED-A-GENE, GenTORE, GplusE, IMAGE, SAPHIR & SmartCow) funded by the European Commission and coordinated under the Common Dissemination Booster, aiming to bring Innovation to food safety and sustainable agriculture.
More information about the seminar, the provisional programme and the registration link are available on ATF's website.
A Century of Genetics
November 13-15, 2019, in Edinburgh, Scotland
2019 is coincidentally the centenary of both the Genetics Society and the origins of the Roslin Institute and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh. A joint scientific celebratory meeting will be held between November 13-15, 2019, Edinburgh. For more information please visit the website.
International Congress on Animal Reproduction
28 June - 2 July, 2020, in Bologna, Italy
The 19th International Congress on Animal Reproduction will be held from 28th of June to 2nd of July 2020 in Bologna, Italy. The congress is held every four years and focuses on animal reproduction, including physiology, pathology and reproductive technologies. More information can be found on the ICAR website.