The latest science behind intensive livestock systems will be the focus of a workshop held as part of the British Society of Animal Science (BSAS)'s 2014 annual conference. Exploring the potential effects on animal health and welfare, speakers will discuss system design and the technology and techniques being made use of in large-scale systems. 

As part of the conference's wider aim to examine the role of animal science and technology in global food production, the workshop also will identify areas where more work needs to be done to address concerns over how food is produced.

Planning for intensification

"In the face of growing world populations, diminishing resources and changing food demands, we have to look at alternative food production systems," says BSAS chief executive Mike Steele.

"Understandably, intensive production raises concerns for many, but it's important to look behind the emotive arguments to see if we have the technology to address those concerns, and if not what can science do to help overcome them.

"It is right that livestock production systems are properly scrutinized and if we decide large-scale scale systems are not for us, we need to think about where animal science and technology goes next to help us produce secure, sustainable food." 

Aimed at farms, veterinarians, researchers and policymakers, key presentations over the two days will focus on how technology is helping in poultry, sheep and dairy production, as well as where science needs to develop to help farm businesses be profitable and productive in 2020.