Synergy for preventing damaging behaviour in group housed pigs and chickens
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Overview of the meeting of
WG2, Belgrade Serbia, November 2016
The working group meeting kicked off with brief introductions
followed by a round of ‘speed networking’. During speed networking, pairs of
members were given a 3 minute period to discuss their research area and to identify
possible collaboration topics. The session proved highly popular as it was a
difficult task to get the pairs to end their interesting discussions!
Having gotten to know each other better, we re-joined as a large group
to talk about the all-important working group deliverables. We began the discussions
as a group by talking about the success of deliverable 1, which was a
cross-working group deliverable to establish of a network of research groups
and private sector parties with competence in analysis and prevention of
damaging behaviour in pigs and laying hens. Mike Toscano had done an excellent job with
this meaning that we were able to easily extract data and assess the relevance
of WG2 issues and deliverables. Going forwards, we highlighted the need to
attract more early stage scientists and partners from industry and to maintain
the demographic balance.
We then went on to tackle
the main discussion points which were focused on deliverable 2, which was the
production of papers on the development of damaging behaviour in pigs and
laying hens. We split
into 2 species groups to begin organisation of the 2 review scientific papers.
It was agreed that for each species we will write one scientific review. For
laying hens, it will be dedicated to the prenatal effects. For pigs, it will
combine all biting behaviours and will incorporate pre- and early postnatal
effects. The 2 groups were able to flesh
out plans for producing original and timely scientific reviews, but also with
scope for later communicating the issues to broader audiences including
industry and the public.
Another important discussion topic
was the organisation of the next training school on the development of damaging
behavior in laying hens and pigs. Inma Estevez had already kindly agreed to
lead the local organising committee and she was able to update the rest of the
working group via Skype. The training
school will be held on the 6th – 8th November in Bilbao,
Spain, with space for 30 students and 10 guest speakers. Work is now underway
to find speakers and organise a really interesting scientific schedule.
A final key discussion point was the
lack of WG2 representation on the last round of short term scientific missions
therefore proposed working group topics for the next round, to encourage
applications within the remit of pre-natal and early life effect on damaging
behaviour in pigs and laying hens.
All-in-all, the meeting in Belgrade allowed some excellent
networking opportunities for working group 2 members as well as providing the
fuel for us to begin to tackle our deliverables. We have much to do before the
next meeting in Skopje!