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Australasian pork research proposals on the move

Enjoying a cuppa at Pork CRC’s 2017 Stakeholders’ Day in Melbourne were Dr Eugene Roura (University of Queensland), Dennis Mutton (Pork CRC Chairman, APRIL Chairman), Dr Roger Campbell (Pork CRC CEO) and Prof Frank Dunshea (University of Melbourne). Earlier, Dr Campbell addressed stakeholders on where pork R&D was headed and APRIL’s role in that future.

Proposals covering resilience in antimicrobial reduction and resistance and the role of the microbiome in pig performance and health were highlights of the 33 considered in the first investment round for Australasian Pork Research Institute Limited (APRIL).

APRIL’s first call for research proposals to enhance the competiveness and sustainability of the Australasian pork industry attracted more than 40 submissions.

APRIL R&D Committee met on March 26 2018 to consider the 33 proposals which had passed through the review process.

Pork CRC CEO Roger Campbell said the proposals covered all APRIL priorities (resilience, cost and return on assets), were generally novel and some very innovative.

Subjects covered in the reviewed proposals included: reducing feed cost; improving number of pigs weaned; manipulating feed efficiency and the body fat content of growing pigs; rapid assessment of eating quality; enhancing animal welfare and remote monitoring of animal performance and heath.

The committee will recommend proposals to be supported to the APRIL board, which meets on April 23 to make final decisions.

Dr Campbell said the recommended proposals would provide APRIL with a great launching pad, as its R&D Program replaces that of Pork CRC in 2018-19.

“Pork CRC still has about 30 active projects across its four programs, which are expected to deliver some exciting outcomes for industry, with most completed by September 30, 2018,” he noted.

APRIL, which replaces the Cooperative Research Centre for High Integrity Australian Pork (Pork CRC), is fully member based with an initial investment in 2018-2019 between $2 and $3 million and is actively seeking new science and creative new ideas.

APRIL’s strategic plan for research is about making Australasia’s pork industry more resilient and sustainable by markedly reducing cost of production through enhanced productivity and differentiation in specific areas. Australia’s pork industry contributes $5 billion a year to Australia’s economy and employs 36,000 people.

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