Zooming in on animal health projects, what else can we think of?
“We run several projects aiming at better gut health, which also leads to less use of antibiotics. And projects in the field of longevity, such as better bones and healthy hooves, which ensure that the animals live longer. This is actually a nice example of how the two - environmental impact and animal welfare - go well together. When animals remain in production for a longer period of time, you need to raise fewer replacement animals, which is positive in terms of reducing emissions.”
The environmental impact of feed is currently a hot topic in the public debate. How does this concern your work at the NIC?
“Several studies are related to this, for example projects aimed at methane, nitrogen and phosphorus reduction. For example, how can we alter our feeds in order to reduce the on-farm emissions, without affecting the productivity of the animals? Also: we aim to process even more by-products from the food industry in our feeds, in order to achieve circularity, and we have fermentation studies. In addition we participate in projects that are about the use of alternative sources of protein, such as insects (SusinChain) or algae (MultiStr3am). There is a lot in motion that links innovation to sustainability.”