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Design of a feeding programme which is specific to swine genetics and is environmental and animal welfare friendly.

The project is focused on the design and implementation in pig farms of a comprehensive action programme on major causes of environmental damage generated on farms, by designing a new feeding programme formulated to cover the different fattening requirements and to improve n and p utilistion.

The Project envisages the development of a comprehensive action plan on production factors affecting the environment and animal welfare: firstly, and to minimize the burden of N and P in the pig manure, a feeding programme adjusted to the nutritional needs of animals according to the characteristics of the different genetic lines included in the study will be developed. Then, a protocol for the feeding programme processing that integrates food production in the environmental management plan of the factory will be developed. Subsequently, the Project will design and develop an action protocol with specific corrective actions on toxic emissions that a pig production centre (for pig fattening) generates, and that will include a thorough analysis of the effectiveness of those actions. Finally, since one of the factors set out in the draft which is the reduction of nitrogen in the manure which has an influence on animal welfare, the Project will develop a method for evaluating animal welfare, considering the influence that the adjusted new feeding programme and environmental changes introduced into exploitation exert on animal welfare. In addition, it will check the influence of welfare on the health status and productive rates of animals, and consequently on a farm’s final economic performance. The present Project proposes to design a new feeding programme whose formulation is capable of covering, in an adjusted way, the pig needs of different races (Spanish and Portuguese) and physiological status with a twofold objective: economic and environmental. Economically, it represents significant savings in the composition of the feeding programme, without prejudice on the capacity of producing animals. Environmentally, it represents an important step in the conversion of the pig production sector towards a more environmentally friendly and sustainable one. The environmental performance under the Project design would be incomplete if it did not face the second most important environmental problem that has beset the industry: the emission of polluting gases, toxic dust or aerosols. The first step is to minimise the burden of N and P in the slurry, but it is not enough. That is why the Project will develop a system of comprehensive action on emissions, with the development of protocols and concrete action steps. The last objective of the Project seeks to check on their own premises. Checking the implications for animal welfare involves each of the actions undertaken during the Project’s development. Nowadays, an increasing number of businessmen-farmers include environmental and animal welfare variables in their production processes as a leading factor of quality and competitiveness, making sure that their investments produce outstanding social and economic benefits. This EUREKA Project provides an economic model to allow for categorising the variables involved and statistically calculating the cost of production depending on the various studied environmental and animal welfare factors and environmental action taken.
Acronym: 
ECOPOR
Project ID: 
4 925
Start date: 
01-05-2008
Project Duration: 
42months
Project costs: 
2 440 000.00€
Technological Area: 
AGROFOOD TECHNOLOGY
Market Area: 
Animal Husbandry

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.