Research – University of Copenhagen

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Research

Whereas efficiency will also in future be a precondition for competitiveness, Denmark’s products need to have added value. In addition to efficiency, Danish pig production should be designed with assured quality for animal health and welfare, food safety, product quality and environmentally-friendly production. Focusing on these areas of input will enable Danish pig production to grow further and contribute towards creating more jobs and export revenues.

Research themes and skills

CPH Pig can assist in making Danish pig production more skilled in a range of ways by focusing its research on special themes. This will provide greater competencies and add value to products.

Welfare

Animal welfare should be a core theme in Danish pig production. At CPH Pig, we shall use our research to contribute to the development of faster, effective methods for judging the overall welfare of animals and for identifying ethical methods of pig production. CPH Pig is giving Danish pig production greater skills, for example in the balance between utility and price with respect to animal welfare interventions. A high level of welfare and good environments for sows and pigs can be ensured by investigating housing for loose sows and by demonstrating the interrelationship between parasitic infection pressure and welfare-promoting interventions like bedding and sprinkling.

Health

In addition to general animal welfare, healthcare is an important theme. At CPH Pig, we shall be researching new and existing diseases, enabling us to do risk analyses and modelling for exotic diseases and treatment strategies at the national level and to identify ways of protecting against air and vector-borne infection. One related research theme with implications for humans is disease spread between pigs and humans.

Practically speaking, the themes of the centre are survival, nutrition and breeding, for example breeding methods for improving the health and robustness of sows and pigs.

Production

For production purposes, the centre is doing research into efficiency for multiple parameters. Enhanced feed uptake efficiency and cost-effectiveness in slaughter pig production cut waste and mean financial gains for the pig producer. Here, CPH Pig can also improve skills in assessing Danish protein feeds and demonstrate the advantages of using information and communication technology for data registration to ensure closer monitoring and control of production. Research is also being done on improved housing systems, including ventilation systems and cost-effective reduction of emissions.

Antimicrobial resistance

The use of antibiotics has consequences for both animals and humans. Research is being done into improved methods for monitoring the use of antibiotics for entire herds and for developing effective vaccines to replace antibiotics. The aim is for better utilisation of feed and greater disease resistance, among other things by molecular studies on the establishment and dynamics of robust gut flora from birth until after weaning. As part of this, we are investigating the influence of host animal nutrition and genetics on the intestinal microbiota.