Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

FABRE-TP Report Summary

Project ID: 44228
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Netherlands

Final Report Summary - FABRE-TP (Sustainable Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction Technology Platform)

Animal agriculture plays an important role in European society. Optimised animal production systems can contribute to a safe, healthy and diverse diet, can help maintain sustainable human communities in more marginal regions of Europe and can facilitate reductions in our environmental footprint on the planet. A vibrant and effective animal breeding and reproduction industry is essential if Europe is to meet the future challenges of animal agriculture in a rapidly changing ecological, economic and social environment. Farm animal breeding and reproduction are a globally highly competitive, knowledge intensive sector. Currently, Europe has a major influence on the genetic makeup of future animals and hence on the whole of animal production. European breeding organisations are major players in the global market and hence have a worldwide impact.

The FABRE Technology Platform (TP) has been set up to maintain and develop this technology sector for the benefit of Europe's future. In its first year, FABRE TP has been developing a Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). In this period, the commitment for FABRE TP has been growing from 63 to 110 organisations. The SRA is based upon the Vision Paper 'Sustainable farm animal breeding and reproduction - A vision for 2025'. Three types of effort have been undertaken to accomplish the SRA: expert group discussions, horizontal efforts, and country discussions. The results of the various discussions are available as separate annex documents to the SRA.

The expert consultancy encompassed seven expert groups on farm animal species where there is a professional interest in breeding (cattle, sheep and goats, horses, pigs, poultry and aquaculture as well as dogs, honeybee, fur animals and rabbits). Furthermore, three expert groups on themes (safe and healthy food; robust, adapted, healthy animals, diversity and distinctiveness) and three expert groups on technologies (genomics, genetics, reproduction) have been set up.

The horizontal work has been taking place throughout the project. Society representatives are being consulted at various stages, and invited to the steering, working and expert groups. A technology transfer and education group have identified the need for international technology transfer and lifelong learning. A society meeting with NGOs and breeders has dealt with environment, ethics, consumer issues, third countries, social responsibility (spring 2008). The sustainable breeding scenarios developed during the last seven years with the input of various groups of researchers, industry representatives and society specialists and representatives are being linked to the food area forward outlook efforts that are currently being developed.

FABRE TP has undertaken 34 country discussions. Representatives from the European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders, European Association for Animal Production, Genesis Faraday and Roslin have visited all EU countries, plus Iceland, Israel, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine, for a FABRE TP meeting to which the local organisers invited all interested stakeholders. These meetings have given voice to the numerous governmental, funding body, research and industry voices in Europe. Between 10 (Malta) to over 100 (Bulgaria) people have contributed to the SRA, relating the SRA to their national situation, and considering the initiation of a national platform. FABRE TP has developed a specific easy reading SRA for policy makers, available in 28 languages. In the spring of 2008, FABRE TP presented its implementation action plan. All expert group reports, country reports, various SRA versions, as well as a leaflet and poster are available from the website: http://www.fabretp.org.

Summary description of project objectives

- Science / technology analysis related to opportunities for FABRE and setting priorities for the short, mid and long-term;
- capturing the relevant horizontal issues for FABRE SRA;
- development of scenarios for future development of animal breeding in a workshop, based on sustainability starting from SEFABAR results (please see http://www.SEFABAR.org online) and input of expert / working Groups;
- organisation and consultation of stakeholders in all EU Member States on the future opportunities and needs of farm animal breeding and reproduction;
- development of the SRA based on the science / technology analysis, horizontal issue analysis and stakeholder discussions;
- development and initiation of an implementation plan for the SRA;
- taking into account: safe and healthy food; robust, adapted, healthy animals; balanced breeding; biodiversity, animal welfare, environment, world development, a competitive and distinctive Europe, and non-food benefits from e.g. recreation, animal biotechnology;
- including: farm animals where there is professional interest in breeding, e.g. cattle, sheep / goats, equine, pigs, poultry, aquaculture, companion animals and other animals;
- with the involvement and consultation of relevant stakeholders from: industry, farmers, the research community, public authorities, regulators, NGOs, politicians and funding bodies.

European farm animal (including aquaculture) breeding and reproduction are a knowledge intensive sector, with the major global players based in Europe, and with a huge impact on the animal food chain. Animal breeding and reproduction are at the top of the animal production pyramid and hence define the quality of all animals used in agriculture and aquaculture. The impact on farm animal production as a whole is great, because the breeding response is cumulative and sustainable. Efficient reproduction techniques, such as artificial insemination, allow genetic improvement to be rapidly and safely disseminated throughout the production chain.

The FABRE TP has supported the next stages in the three-stage process of development of the TP. Stakeholders' discussions in each of the EU Member States highlight the typical country emphasis, roles of society, regulatory and other enabling factors.

Work package 1: Expert groups

Work package 1 deals with the detailing of specific species, technology and themes opportunities, gaps and priorities for the coming 5-25 years in farm animal breeding and reproduction. The results of the 13 expert groups can be summarised as follows:

- technical research priorities (reproduction technologies, phenomics, genetics, genomics)
- data collection (structures)
- life-long education professionals
- continuous technology transfer
- transparent socio-economic dialogue
- society dialogue
- workable regulatory climate.

Work package 2: Horizontal issues

In SRA, the horizontal issues have been described, learning from the various experiences and work undertaken by the participants. They are being put in for discussion and have been discussed at the stakeholder meeting held on 24 October 2007 in Paris. A working group on technology transfer and education have identified the major issues in technology transfer and learning. An ethical interview has been taken place. Intellectual property rights have been defined during the course of the project. The Society Meeting Spring 2008 has addressed the issues regarding scenarios, ethics, consumers issues, third countries and communication with politics before a broad audience.

Work package 3: Country discussions

Live discussions have been taking place in each EU Member State, plus a number of other states that have asked for a FABRE TP discussion: Iceland, Israel, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine. In total, 34 countries were visited in person, with attendencees ranging from a bit below 10 (e.g. Cyprus, Malta) to over 100 (Bulgaria, Turkey).

The visits have been taking place between January 2007 and June 2008 and were undertaken by Andrea Rosati (EAAP), Chris Warkup and David Telford (Genesis Faraday) and Anne-Marie Neeteson (EFFAB). The majority of the countries have been visited by Andrea Rosati. Other countries were visited by Chris Warkup or Anne-Marie Neeteson, alone or together or in the company of Andrea Rosati.

Work package 4: Dissemination

This work package involved the preparation of a website, leaflet, poster, society meeting, SRA and implementation plan.

Related information

Contact

Anne-marie NEETESON-VAN NIEUWENHOVEN
Tel.: +31-26-339-1538
Fax: +31-26-339-1539
E-mail
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