Jim McAdam, director of the Aviagen United Kingdom Breeding Program, outlined the importance of understanding components of welfare and sustainability in broiler breeding at the World Poultry Science Association meeting. Held in Uppsala, Sweden, the meeting attracted 180 poultry industry experts and producers from around the world June 18-20.

McAdam told delegates, "Broad breeding goals and genetic diversity are essential to achieve a balanced progress in pedigree broiler lines. This approach has had and will continue to have benefits for the broiler industry globally. Within the Aviagen breeding programs, a large amount of data is gathered on a variety of traits for each individual bird, including information on welfare, health, fitness, reproduction and production efficiency."

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McAdam also highlighted the importance of the interaction between production and environment with regard to selection. "An important aspect to consider is that long-term selection of traits in only one environment will lead to increased productivity under those circumstances. However, Aviagen uses a variety of environments for selection purposes, which ensures improved performance in a wide range of growing environments across the globe. Balanced breeding simultaneously improves productivity, efficiency, environmental impact, animal health and welfare, food quality and safety.

"Aviagen and the World Poultry Science Association share the same aim of advancing knowledge and understanding of all aspects of poultry science. We are very proud of the practical support we can offer the industry and to have opportunities such as this to share our knowledge with the wider industry. This event was yet again a perfect example of the interaction between academia and industry, creating a platform for attendees to improve their knowledge and share insights for the mutual benefit of our industry," McAdam said.