The understanding of poultry health and welfare is to be boosted with the construction of a GBP14 million (US$21 million) facility at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Work has already started on The National Avian Research Facility, which will be made available to national and international researchers studying avian health.
Research at the facility could range from looking at diseases that place a major economic burden on the industry, such as Campylobacter and Salmonella, to developing vaccines against infections, the university says.
Key aims for the facility include addressing the need for improved sustainability in poultry production in light of an increasing global population and benefiting human health through reducing food-borne diseases.
Construction of the facility, due to be completed late in 2014, is being funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Roslin Foundation and the University of Edinburgh. The initiative sees collaboration between the Roslin Institute, which is incorporated with the university’s veterinary school, and the Pirbright Institute in Surrey. It will enhance research already carried out at the Roslin Institute, such as studies in avian immunology, vaccine development and the role that genes play in disease resistance.
Professor David Hume, director of the Roslin Institute, said: “This build is a key component of the on-going development of the Easter Bush Campus and reflects the growing portfolio of research that the Roslin Institute is undertaking with the aim of improving the health and welfare of chicken.”