Royal Veterinary College symposium “to help the chicken industry overcome the significant challenges it faces and shape future Government policy”.

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC), in collaboration with the University of Manchester, is hosting a two-day conference exploring the biology of domestic chickens “to help the chicken industry overcome the significant challenges it faces and shape future Government policy”.

It is hoped the symposium will influence future Government policy and help the chicken industry.The conference, which will take place on April 23-24 (2014) at the RVC’s Hawkshead Campus, will feature presentations by 25 international experts in the fields of biomechanics, physiology and pathology, infectious diseases and immunity, genetics/breeding, welfare and behaviour. It is hoped their presentations will facilitate discussion of the topics most critical to improving the health of chickens and securing the future of the industry.
Topics include:

  • Is chicken waddling good or bad for them?
  • How do metabolic costs relate to behaviours in chickens?
  • Do chickens have friends and how do they behave in large groups?
  • What parasites plague chickens and how can we minimise them?
  • How and why did diseases of major concern, such as bird ‘flu, evolve or how might they evolve?

RVC professor of evolutionary biomechanics and lead conference organiser John R Hutchinson said the symposium is a don’t miss opportunity for those “interested in how humans raise chickens and how chickens respond to their domestic environments, with a strong focus on applied research as well as basic science, all of which can inform government policy”.
“Our speakers will be tackling big questions and attendees will get a unique opportunity to partake in the discussions of what the evidence that is presented means for our complex relationships with domestic chickens,” he said.
Senior lecturer in zoology at the University of Manchester Jonathan Codd said: “This is a great opportunity to bring together some of the world leaders in this field and provide a clearer way forward for improving broiler chicken welfare.”
After the symposium, the organisers will issue a statement summing up the event’s conclusions, aiming to influence future Government policy on the domestic poultry industry.

The deadline for preregistration is December 1 2013. For more information or to register, visit the event’s website.

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