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Bristol to host international conference on sustainable livestock

Press release issued: 6 October 2015

With one in seven humans undernourished and with the challenges of population growth and climate change, the need for efficient food production has never been greater. The University of Bristol will host an international conference to discuss this issue early next year [12-15 January 2016].

The University has been instrumental in establishing an international programme on sustainable ruminant production, contributing to food security, sustainability and poverty alleviation called the Global Farm Platform.

The initiative currently comprises 15 leading universities and research institutes across six continents, with funding from the University’s Cabot Institute, the Worldwide Universities Network, the Global Innovation Initiative , the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and individual member institutions.

The Global Farm Platform is a unique international network of researchers and facilities working together to improve the sustainability of ruminant livestock production to benefit the environment, social wellbeing and livelihoods, human nutrition and health, and animal health and welfare.

The international conference, entitled ‘Steps to sustainable livestock’, hopes to bring together people working in the field of sustainable production to share ideas and develop best practice.

The themes during the four-day conference include:

  • Consumption of human food by livestock;
  • Animal species and genotypes suited to their environment;
  • Animal health and welfare;
  • Feeding animals optimally;
  • Human nutrition – focus on healthy food;
  • Husbandry systems appropriate for local environment, culture and economy;
  • Knowledge transfer;
  • Minimising environmental footprint.    

Professor Mark Eisler, Chair in Global Farm Animal Health in the School of Veterinary Sciences and Cabot Institute at the University of Bristol, said:  “The conference will be a great opportunity for academics, researchers, non-governmental organisations, policy makers and livestock producers working toward sustainability of ruminant systems to share transformational knowledge and ideas.”

Professor Michael Lee, Chair in Sustainable Livestock Systems in the School of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Bristol and Head of Rothamsted Research, North Wyke site, added: “The conference is a fantastic opportunity to develop strategies to move towards a more sustainable livestock sector globally.”

An early bird rate for the conference is available until 9 October 2015.  To register go to:

Further information

The international conference ‘Steps to sustainable livestock’ will be hosted by the University of Bristol from 12-15 January 2016.

For more information about the conference, visit

About the Global Farm Platform
The Global Farm Platform partnership brings together the University of Alberta (Canada), the University of Bristol (UK), Kansas State University (USA), Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University (India), the Instituto National de Investigación Agropecuaria (INIA, Uruguay), The University of Leeds (UK), Massey University (New Zealand), Penn State University (USA), Rothamsted Research (UK), the University of Sydney (Australia), the University of Western Australia, the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and Zhejiang University (China). The key partners already have a strong history of working together, and are each linked to a number of relevant institutions that will make further valuable contributions to the Global Farm Platform.

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