SRUC Strengthens its links with Brazil

Published Wednesday, 5th December 2012 in Research news

Labex Europe visit

The Animal and Veterinary Sciences Research Division recently welcomed visitors from the Brazilian agri-business and research organisation Embrapa.

Two years ago Embrapa established its first UK base at Rothamsted Research with its labex (laboratory exterior) programme and it was scientists from this project who travelled to Scotland to meet SRUC’s  Animal Welfare and Behaviour Team.

Professor John Lucas, Dr Alexandre Morais do Amaral and Pedro Arcuri, Coordinator of Labex Europe, met with Team Leader Professor Cathy Dwyer and her group to discover more about the work SRUC is doing in this area and how our organisation could collaborate with Embrapa in the future.

Cathy began the day with overview of the team’s current projects focusing in on areas such as pig aggression, cow welfare assessments and our new online Msc in International Animal Welfare. Professor Malcolm Mitchell then spoke on animal transportation and the new EU regulations on slaughter which become law in January. He was followed by Professor Adoraldo Zanella who spoke about his Europe-wide AWIN project before noting the importance of connecting with the Brazilian livestock sector.

He said: “We need to have a good collaborative programme to ensure we have productive interactions with Brazil.”

Professor John Lucas stressed that while Embrapa’s UK base was down south at Rothamsted the BBRSC was keen to see institutes throughout the country working together.

He said: “There are some areas where a concerted effort would make a difference. Animal health is one of these, as is crop improvement and food security.”

After lunch Dr Jos Houdijk and Dr Ross Davidson were on hand to talk about parasitology and epidemiology respectively before the group concluded their day with a visit to the GreenCow facility. GreenCow allows SRUC researchers to measure the methane output of cattle and a similar centre – developed using SRUC learning – has just opened in Brazil.

The tour – led by researcher Dave Ross – proved incredibly popular, one that the visitors will not quickly forget.

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