The Avian Science Research Centre, part of the Scottish Agricultural College, specializes in contract research and consultancy for government and the private sector. It focuses on nutrition, health and welfare and provides consultancy in avian veterinary medicine, environmental audits and impact assessments.
Based in Auchincruive, Ayr, the organization has over 20 years' experience in undertaking research and consultancy contracts, and provides technology transfer and education.
Within the field of nutrition, areas it covers include investigation of the nutritive value of ingredients; the effects of additives on poultry nutrition; interactions between gut health and nutrition, mechanisms involved in the utilization of nutrients and diets and nutrition of organic poultry.
There are a number of areas where the Avian Science Research Centre has expertise in health and these include: enteric diseases, evaluation of pathogenic and zoonotic microbes, methods of control of ectoparasites, maximizing health via nutrition and evaluating alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters.
In terms of environment, the Centre covers minimizing nitrogenous waste through nutritional and/or management strategies, reducing phosphorous in waste using digestive enzymes, minimizing medicines levels in waste, reducing use of pesticides against ectoparasites, and investigating optimum diets and nutrition for organic poultry.
In the field of welfare, the Avian Science Research Centre investigates ways of fulfilling the Five Freedoms while maintaining commercially viable systems; conducting studies to inform new government policies; understanding the factors that affect behavior, health and welfare of birds in novel housing systems; investigating the effects of high-handling on welfare; developing methodologies to assess health and welfare; and devising humane methods of stunning, emergency culling and slaughter.
The Avian Science Research Centre also carries out product evaluation with regard to meat and egg production regulatory studies for the European and U.S. markets.
For more information, visit: www.sac.ac.uk/research/centres/avianresearch/asrc/