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Animal health and welfare focus in SA pork alliance

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A new alliance between the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) aims to consolidate South Australia’s leading role in Australian pig research, development and extension.

SA is a major supplier of pork in Australia, accounting for more than 25% of domestic production with about 1.2 million pigs or more than 90,000 tonnes of pork processed at modern plants in Murray Bridge and Port Wakefield.

The University’s School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences will work along with SARDI to support SA’s pig industry through local research into sow and piglet housing, reproduction, welfare and other new initiatives under the new Southern Pork Alliance.

Launched at the University of Adelaide Roseworthy Campus recently, the alliance will capitalise on the higher education, animal health and welfare, reproduction, molecular diagnostics, product quality and food safety capabilities at Roseworthy as well as the Waite Campus in Adelaide.

Dr Roger Campbell, Chief Executive of the national Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Pork explained that industry was working closely with Southern Pork Alliance specialists at Roseworthy to promote better standards of production and product quality. Dr Campbell added that whole-value-chain innovation, collaboration, research and development, and education will ensure the future of a more efficient, sustainable and profitable Australian pork industry.

The Pork CRC , which is also based at Roseworthy, funds a range of research projects covering nutrition, reproduction, housing, production and welfare, with several key projects involving University of Adelaide and SARDI scientists.

According to Professor Iain Reid, Executive Dean (Roseworthy Campus) at University of Adelaide, the alliance dramatically strengthens the potential for research and teaching in pig production and disease management for the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, making it a unique resource among Australian veterinary schools and ensuring a continuing supply of researchers and veterinarians to service the needs of the industry.

Professor Alan Tilbrook, SARDI Livestock and Farming Systems Research Chief adds that their pig and poultry production researchers work with industry, producers, vets, engineers and nutritionists, as well as with University of Adelaide and TAFE programs at Roseworthy. The pork industry training course delivered by SARDI and the University of Adelaide attracted participants from all around Australia this year.

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