Overview of the meeting of WG3, Belgrade Serbia, November 2016
The meeting for WG3 was attended by 15 members representing 10 different countries. As not everyone knew each other, Anna (our Chair) kicked off the meeting by getting us all to introduce ourselves and describe our interests and experience. There were a wide range of experiences present; both pig and poultry researchers, veterinarians and animal scientists, and early stage researchers who are starting out, as well as experienced group leaders. The research areas that people worked in were also diverse: as well as live animal research, some of our members worked in the area of environmental monitoring, economics and work in the slaughter-house. This led to some interesting discussions, and opened up plenty of scope for future collaborations.
Following this, group members provided more detailed updates on their current or planned projects. The projects ranged from work investigating differences in the typical behaviour of individuals within large groups, to comparisons of different housing systems, incorporating measures of health, antimicrobial resistance, and feather pecking, to investigating different types of enrichment for pigs. The group came up with some interesting ideas to add value to these projects, as well as ideas for future STSM’s.
We also discussed the deliverables for WG3, and how to proceed so we hit our targets. The first deliverable has already been achieved; Mike Toscano has put together a database of research groups and private sector parties with competence in analysis and prevention of damaging behaviour in pigs and laying hens, which he will keep updated. The rest of the deliverables are mainly concerned with creating a series of documents. There was agreement that aggression be dealt with separately to feather pecking and tail biting behaviours, as they are not thought to be linked. The status of the remaining deliverables is as follows: