2017 Australasian Pig Science Association Conference

SUBSCRIBE to our fortnightly e-newsletter to receive more event information like this. Piglet in a crowd: this year's APSA Conference will focus on pressing industry issues including seasonal infertility and pig welfare.

Seasonal infertility and welfare are two topics that continue to present challenges to Australasia’s otherwise progressive pig industry.

Both topics will be on the agenda at the 16th biennial Australasian Pig Science Association Conference, which comes to Melbourne CBD’s Grand Hyatt in November 2017.

The 16th APSA will focus on cutting-edge science, with a speaker line-up that includes leaders in the global quest to use substantive scientific research results to underpin improvements 21st-century pig production.

This year’s APSA delegates will hear about the latest science behind seasonal fertility from Dr Ray King, while advances in pig welfare will be addressed by Professor Alan Tilbrook. Both topics were also on the inaugural APSA Conference in Albury, way back in 1987.

Solutions for seasonal infertility: Dr Ray King

After student and industry workshops on the first day of the Conference, Dr Ray King will deliver the AC Dunkin Memorial Lecture, presenting the latest findings on seasonal infertility from international and Australian projects, including those commissioned by the former Pig Research & Development Corporation, Australian Pork Limited (APL) and the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC). 

Dr King will focus on the outcomes of several projects presented at APSA to help industry tackle the problem of seasonal infertility, identify potential knowledge gaps and inform future research.

“Australia’s pig industry has spent considerable resources addressing the issues affecting pig production during summer, yet seasonal infertility remains a significant issue here and in many overseas countries,” notes Dr King.

“Seasonal infertility was one of the first major production syndromes that had research outcomes presented at APSA – and it is a perfect example of how, even with the best intentions and substantial robust research, some issues continue to cause production losses,” he says.

A contented sow and her piglets: Professor Alan Tilbrook, from the University of Queensland, notes that impressive progress has been made with regard to assessing animal welfare and changing attitudes towards facilitating emotional wellbeing in pigs.
A contented sow and her piglets: Professor Alan Tilbrook, from the University of Queensland, notes that impressive progress has been made with regard to assessing animal welfare and changing attitudes towards facilitating emotional wellbeing in pigs.
Woodleywonderworks, Flickr CC

Pig welfare: Professor Alan Tilbrook, UQ

With Australia’s pork industry now a global leader in transitioning to better pig welfare, and with the industry’s commitment to stop using sow stalls from 2017, Professor Alan Tilbrook’s review of animal welfare is timely. It underlining APSA’s commitment to providing a platform for the promotion of scientific findings and their impact on industry challenges.

Professor Tilbrook, from the University of Queensland, notes that impressive progress has been made with regard to assessing animal welfare and changing attitudes towards facilitating emotional wellbeing in pigs. His review will be a ‘where to from here’ reference piece, focusing on the advanced assessment concepts and methods being developed to meet changing demands as the industry strives for objective assessment of animal welfare.

Other reviews

Other reviews at APSA 2017 will include:

· Prof John O’Doherty, Professor of Monogastric Nutrition at the University College, Dublin, and 2016 British Society of Animal Science Hammond award-winner, on ‘Current and novel feed additives – how they influence pig production’;

· Prof Darren Trott, Professor of Veterinary Microbiology at the University of Adelaide, on ‘The use of antimicrobials in agriculture – is agriculture really to blame for antimicrobial resistance?’

· Heather Channon, Acting Research and Innovation General Manager at Australian Pork Limited, on ‘Eating quality assurance for the pork industry: what has been achieved in 16 years?

APSA 2017 Symposia

On Day 2 of the conference, two symposia will focus on issues of relevance to Australia’s pig industry.

A symposium on consumer wants will feature:

  • Dr Heather Bray, Senior Research Associate at the University of Adelaide;
  • Dr Darryl D’Souza, CEO of SunPork Solutions; and
  • Evan Bittner, Pork CRC PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne.

Another symposium, on genetic improvement in a closed herd, will be addressed by:

  • Dr Kim Bunter of northern NSW’s University of New England (UNE);
  • Prof Dorian Garrick, Chief Scientific Officer at the Institute of Veterinary, Animal & Biomedical Sciences at New Zealand’s Massey University; and
  • Dr Matt Culbertson, Global Director for Product Development and Technical Services at PIC, in the USA.

To view the conference program, click here

Conference proceedings for non-attendees

“Of course, the best take-home messages will be enjoyed by those who register, attend and network with colleagues – but for those who can’t, there is the opportunity to access the delivered science by purchasing the proceedings, ‘Manipulating Pig Production XVI’,” notes APSA’s Dr Mitchell.

The 2017 conference proceedings will be edited by Dr Lucy Waldron and Dr Shay Hill for publication as a special issue of Animal Production Science.  http://www.publish.csiro.au/an

Registration and more information

To register for the Australasian Pig Science Association Conference in Melbourne, go to the official online registration page. Earlybird registrations for APSA 2017, offering savings of up to $300 per delegate, are open until 1 September. For further information, or to have your queries answers, contact APSA Secretary Dr Cameron Ralph on 08 8313 7781 or via email at Cameron.Ralph@sa.gov.au.

Major sponsors of APSA 2017 are Australian Pork Limited (APL) and the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC).

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Event date: 
Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:30 to Wednesday, November 22, 2017 - 14:00

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