Kick-off for the GroupHouseNet working groups!
We held the third Management Committee meeting of GroupHouseNet on November 10th followed by working group meetings on November 10th and 11th, 2016 in the wonderful city of Belgrade, at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Belgrade. Representatives of 24 countries were present and contributed to discussions of management and implementation of the Action. Key areas of focus of the MC meeting were decisions regarding the location of future meetings (Skopje, Republic of Macedonia in June, 2017; Bilbao, Spain in November 2017). The meeting June in Skopje will focus on involvement of international stakeholders. The focus of the meeting with the stakeholders will probably be on keeping laying hens and pigs without beak trimming or tail docking, as this is an important topic in many EU countries. During the MC meeting, we also looked back at the first successful GroupHouseNet Training School, that was also held in Belgrade, preceding the MC and working group meetings. The Training School was a success, with a lot of interactions between participants and trainees from 14 different European countries. The Training School has also provided ideas for further research within the network and for new collaborations and STSMs. Furthermore, the three working group leaders provided updates for planned activities in their working group and the map of countries, research groups and individual researchers involved in the network was presented.
The focus of this meeting was to get the three GroupHouseNet working groups on the road, and we think we have succeeded in that mission. The three working groups met separately and first each presented his or her research and ideas to the other working group members. Then, the planned review papers and other activities were discussed in each working group and the plans were adjusted according to the internal discussions. Reports from the Working Group meetings can be seen below. On Friday afternoon, we had a plenary meeting with all the working groups and the plans for each working group were summarised by the working group leaders. This has provided a good basis to start working on the review papers and further develop plans for Training Schools and STSMs. We look forward to the next meeting in June 2017 in Skopje!