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While livestock farming has been around for thousands of years, it has only been intensified in recent decades to meet the demands of a rising world population and global competition. This intensification has helped to increase yields and make farming practices more efficient, resulting in staples such as eggs, meat and milk being more widely available and cheaper to buy for billions of people worldwide. However, intensive livestock farming also has its drawbacks. Diseases caused by livestock management practices can compromise animal health and welfare, creating inefficiencies that lead to lower profitability and product quality. Other considerations include the environmental footprint of intensive farming and the harmful long-term effects of antibiotic use.
The EU-funded PROHEALTH project sought to gain a better understanding of the many different aspects of intensive pig and poultry production that play a role in animal pathologies. In its 5-year duration, PROHEALTH hasn't only focused on identifying major disease threats. It has also developed novel strategies for sustainable livestock farming that limits the environmental impact and remains profitable for farmers.
Studies - Project - Escherichia - Coli - Disease
Studies conducted during the project identified Escherichia coli as a major disease threat for European poultry farms. E. coli infections were found to be the most common cause of death in broilers and layers, and resulted in the highest economic losses for farmers. The project team determined that vaccination and biosecurity measures can make farms more profitable and improve animal welfare, while also combatting the adverse effect of diseases on global food security.
The PROHEALTH team's findings showed that pig herd performance could be improved using Big Data as a way of...
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