EAAP-FABRE TP Session on ''Gene editing: Can we afford (not) to use precision technologies in livestock breeding?''
FABRE TP session on Genome editing was held on 28 August during EAAP 2019 in Ghent, Belgium. We welcomed speakers to discuss the techniques, opportunities and boundaries of Genome Editing in animal breeding, as well as current and potential future legal framework and ethics.
The large gap between the consumers' needs and animal genetics was mentioned by almost all of the speakers. Focusing on consumers’ perception and trust is very important, as animal breeding is a part of the food chain. New animal breeding technologies (NABT) are counted as GMOs by society, and farmers have concerns about applying NABT as they are unsure about their acceptance by consumers. Resistance to animal diseases is among the most important opportunities for genome editing techniques, as increasing disease resistance is directly related to animal health and increasing animal welfare. It was also mentioned by the speakers that according to the outcome of the animal welfare researches, consumers would be more supportive to gene editing if it can help to prevent animals suffering, to improve animal welfare, to eradicate diseases in livestock and reduces the usage of antibiotics in livestock. Engaging consumers, stakeholders and society in research issues right from the onset carry a lot of importance. It was underlined that innovation works better when scientists produce knowledge and collaborate with society.
The importance of a safe and modern regulatory framework was underlined to clean the pathway for commercialization. Regulations are running behind the innovations and the speed of governance should be tuned in with the speed of innovation. Legislative modernization is necessary for non-transgenes, a global view is needed and identifiable risks need to be regulated. Most importantly, political support is crucial to make regulation better adapted to GE.
The timing is now right to explain what animal breeding is and the importance to speak as one common voice as an industry. EFFAB/FABRE TP should continue, moving further coordinating actions at EU level. Also, breeding companies have to take part in the debate on their activities. The breeding sector is the most competent source to explain what animal breeding is and the tools that breeders use or could use in the future for a more sustainable livestock sector.
Read more about the FABRE-TP session in our newsletter
#MeattheFacts: European livestock voice sets to balance the debate around livestock production
The livestock sector is today at the epicenter of public debates in Europe and beyond. These debates are now mainly dominated by interest groups who spread myths and radical views about livestock farming. Ever increasing on social media and in the press, these myths and opinions end up portraying a picture that is in stark contrast with the reality experienced and lived every day by thousands of European farmers and professionals on the ground. These debates have strong impacts on the views of European consumers on the role of animal products in their lifestyle choices and they push the livestock sector into an extremely defensive corner of society. This negatively affects the EU livestock farming model and policy framework, increasing the challenges faced by our farming communities to ensure their economic viability, generational renewal and their capacity to adapt to societal and environmental demands. Read the full press-release.
FABRE TP Vision Paper Aqua Breeding
"The contribution of Breeding and Genetics to increased sustainable aquaculture production in the EU - input to Horizon Europe from the R&D and industry sectors"
The paper aims to give input to important research topics within the field of aquaculture breeding and genetics for Horizon Europe. Aquaculture Breeding and Genetics can contribute to efficient and sustainable aquaculture in Europe by genetically improving the stocks that are produced in the EU for important traits.
The Vision Paper was also presented during the EATip AGM in Brussels on June 17th, where EATiP fully endorsed the points and topics discussed in the FABRE TP Vision Paper for aqua breeding.
ATF Vision Paper 2019
FABRE TP, being part of the ATF board and representing the industry bodies, is proud to have contributed to the ATF vision paper 2019. The Vision Paper; towards European Research and Innovation for a sustainable and competitive livestock production sector in Europe, provides a common framework and a scope for suggested priorities for R&I within Horizon Europe towards a resource efficient, sustainable, competitive and safe livestock production sector in Europe.
This Vision Paper provides an overview of the role of R&I in up-scaling the contribution of a diversity of European livestock farming systems towards sustainable agri-food systems and to the delivery of services to society.
Go to the ATF website to see all the ATF publications
A Century of Genetics
November 13-15, 2019, in Edinburgh, Scotland
2019 is coincidentally the centenary of both the Genetics Society and the origins of the Roslin Institute and the Institute of Evolutionary Biology, University of Edinburgh. A joint scientific celebratory meeting will be held from 13-15th November 2019, Edinburgh. For more information please visit the website
New memberships of EFFAB and FABRE TP in European councils and associations
Tessa Brinker new Industry Representative in EAAP Genetics commission.
During the annual EAAP conference 2018 in Dubrovnik, Tessa Brinker was nominated by the EAAP Genetics commission to become their new Industry Representative. Tessa’s general knowledge on genetics and her current role at EFFAB and FABRE TP made her very suited for this role. The commission on Animal Genetics addresses all questions regarding the genetic mechanisms underlying performance, phenotype and behavior of farm animals, and also all aspects of how these trait complexes can be modified through means of breeding. The genetic sessions that the commission organizes each EAAP conference are generally well attended.
For information about the EAAP commission on Animal Genetics click here.
EFFAB new member of AAC (Aquaculture Advisory Council)
EFFAB was accepted as new member of AAC during their annual meeting on 13th of September 2018. The AAC is a balanced stakeholder representative organization created for consultation on elements of Union policies which could affect aquaculture under Articles 34 and 44 of Regulation (EU) No 1380/2013.
For more information about AAC click here.
Press release ECJ C-528/16 Mutagenesis
Animal breeders continue to advocate the responsible use of breeding technologies despite the ruling C-528/16 of the European Court of Justice
The European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB) is aware of NGO´s and consumers´ concerns about GMO, gene editing (GE) or genome manipulation. Animal breeders don’t use GE to introduce genetic material from another species in the genome of animals, but intend to spread interesting characteristics and to accelerate processes that occurs naturally through breeding over many generations and without introducing foreign genes.
EFFAB considers that the decision stating that organisms obtained by mutagenesis are GMO is a missed opportunity for Europe to continue to be a competitive producer of high quality and innovate food and it’s likely to hinder investment in animal production.
EFFAB encourages and asks the EU Commission, even considering this decision, to engage in a positive and constructive dialogue between scientists, food companies and consumers while building a legal and regulatory framework for safe animal innovation in Europe. A case by case analyse at European level for animal issued from new breeding techniques is necessary to help answer societal challenges for food production and this technology must continue to be a help in the future to nourish Europe in a healthier, safe and sustainable way, with European Innovation.
Download the PDF file below to read the whole press release:
International Plant & Animal Genome XXVIII
11-15 January 2020 in San Diego, CA, USA
The Plant & Animal Genome Conference (PAG) is designed to provide a forum on recent developments and future plans for plant & animal genome projects. PAG brings together over 3,000 leading genetic scientists and researchers in plant and animal research, and over 130 exhibits, 150 workshops, 1100 posters and over 1800 abstracts. Topics range from gene mapping, expression, functions, related bioinformatics, and applications. Consisting of technical presentations, poster sessions, exhibits and workshops, the conference is an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and applications on this internationally important project. For more information please visit the PAG website.
Genotype by environment interaction, uniformity and resilience
3-7 February 2020 in Wageningen, Netherlands
Wageningen University & Research organizes a 5-day course on genotype by environment interaction, uniformity and resilience from 3-7 February at Wageningen Campus. The course is focused on the concepts of genotype by environment interaction (G x E) and heritable variability in performance. Theory will be lectured and practical computer exercises will allow the participants to bring the theory into practice. For more information please visit the website.
IMAGE final meeting "Gene banks for animal genetic resources: what's new?"
5 February 2020 in Madrid, Spain
IMAGE is a European project dealing with Innovative Management of Animal Genetic Resources and is ending after four years of intensive work. The conclusions of this project will be made public in a Final Conference in Madrid (Spain) on February 5, 2020. Please register for the event here.
2nd FAANG-Europe Workshop on Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes
11-13 February 2020 in Prague, Czech Republic
COST Action CA15112: Functional Annotation of ANimal Genomes. The scientific programme will comprise a mix of invited plenary presentations, contributed podium presentations and roundtable discussions. For more information visit the FAANG website.
Star Gazing into the Galaxy of Animal Genetics and Genomics
19-20 May 2020 in Ames, Iowa, USA
This conference will explore and discuss the challenges and opportunities that the future provides in animal genetics and genomics. In particular the conference will explore new technologies and the data they offer, their impacts for animal improvement and animal source foods in the developed and developing world and the role scientists play in public acceptance. Talks will be followed by meaningful discussion and audience participation. We encourage students, academics, and industry personnel to attend. For more information visit their website.
Annual General Meeting EFFAB & FABRE 2020
27-28 May 2020 in Évora, Portugal
We are happy to announce that the annual general meetings of EFFAB and FABRE 2020 will be held in collaboration with our Portuguese members, INIAV and University of Evora.
2020 Interbull Meeting
8 - 12 June 2020 in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
The 2020 ICAR/INTERBULL Confererence is organized by CRV, the venue of the congress is the Westcord WTC Hotel in Leeuwarden. The central theme for the ICAR Conference will be circular economy, and its impact and challenges in animal performance recording. Information about fees and dates for registration can be found at https://www.icar2020.nl.
The 6th International Conference of Quantitative Genetics
14 - 19 June 2020 in Brisbane, Australia
The 6th International Conference of Quantitative Genetics (ICQG6) will bring together researchers in agriculture, human health, natural species and evolutionary genetics from across the world united in their interest in understanding and translating the contribution of genetic variation of quantitative traits. They will present and discuss state-of-the-art results, theoretical developments and new methodologies with application across a broad range of both species and traits. The rapid technological advances of the last decade have meant that it is now possible to conduct quantitative genetic analyses on an unprecedented scale and to generate data that can address old, but previously unanswerable questions. More today than ever before, quantitative genetics approaches are relevant across species whether in natural populations, model species, crops, livestock or humans. ICQG6 provides an opportunity for cross-fertilisation of ideas in methods across their applications. For more information visit the ICQG6 website.
International Congress on Animal Reproduction
28 June - 2 July 2020 in Bologna, Italy
The 19th International Congress on Animal Reproduction will be held from 28th of June to 2nd of July 2020 in Bologna, Italy. The congress is held every four years and focuses on animal reproduction, including physiology, pathology and reproductive technologies. More information can be found on the ICAR website.
World's Poultry Congress 2020
16 - 20 Augustus 2020 in Paris, France
The poultry sector has major assets to meet the expectation of the world population, provided that it can anticipate changes needed for sustainable production systems. The WPC2020 should bring a major contribution to these challenges for the benefit of the world population. The program features object-oriented sessions integrating various approaches to address a complex challenge, and specialized sessions corresponding with the scope of WPSA working groups. In addition, 11 plenary talks will address major issues for the poultry sector as a whole. More information can be found on the World's Poultry Congress website.
12th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP)
3 - 9 July 2021 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
WCGALP is the conference to share knowledge and to interact on innovations in the area of genetics applied to livestock production. The congress is organised every four years and attracts around 1400 delegates from around the world. With many Dutch animal breeders present at previous conferences, Roel Veerkamp and Yvette de Haas, with support of representatives of the Breed4Food partners, PCO Congress by Design, Rotterdam Partners and Wageningen Academic Publishers, put together an offer to organise the conference in 2022 (July 3-9) in de Doelen in Rotterdam.