Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338
December 22, 1999
Poultry industry supports integrated initiative at Guelph
The future of the Canadian poultry industry is being advanced with the investment of $900,000 in an integrated teaching, research and technology transfer program at the University of Guelph.
Today, representatives of the Poultry Industry Council (PIC), the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and the University signed a memorandum of agreement to develop an Ontario Poultry Program Team (OPPT). The team's mission will be to enhance technological advancements made by Ontario's poultry industry.
"The team will support competitive and sustainable production for producers, health and welfare for poultry, production, management systems, economics and environmental issues," said Prof. Larry Milligan, U of G's vice-president (research). "The team members will ensure premium food quality and food safety for consumers."
Two new faculty positions will be created for a poultry pathobiologist and a poultry epidemiologist. The University will also fill a vacant poultry physiologist position. OMAFRA will relocate the provincial poultry extension specialist to the University and hire a poultry health management specialist to develop and implement a poultry health management strategic plan. Both OMAFRA positions will be located at the University as part of the OPPT.
The poultry sector is a shining component of the Canadian agri-food industry, said Deborah Whale, chair of the PIC. Poultry consumption has risen sharply over the past decade and remains strong. Demand is expected to grow significantly in new markets.
"The potential for growth in the poultry industry is excellent and the need for leading-edge research and technology transfer to the industry is vital," she said.
Guelph has a long-standing and active poultry research program. Current expertise exists in feed substances, vaccines, proteins and disease resistance, nutrition, molecular biology, environment, product development, genetics, transgenics and behaviour.
"The Guelph team, as it exists now, is very sound scientifically," Milligan said. "The new team members will bolster the technology transfer and scientific resources required to make it further excel."
David Nodwell Poultry Industry Council (519) 837-0284
Roger Hacker University of Guelph animal research program (519) 826-3808
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