Pig research specialist is part of new ESFA animal welfare panel

Specialist UK pig researcher Professor Sandra Edwards has been reappointed to the animal health and welfare panel (AHAW) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as part of a revised 21-member team charged with overseeing European welfare issues for the next three years.

Prof Edwards (pictured above) is chair of agriculture, farm livestock research and teaching, at Newcastle University, and has already completed a three-year term with EFSA. Her reappointment was announced as part of the authority’s naming of no fewer 167 scientists, selected to cover a wide range of committee roles for 2015-2018.

“We have attracted very highly qualified scientists from across Europe that will make a difference to Europe’s food safety system,” said EFSA’s head of science strategy, Dr Tobin Robinson. “Many of the new members come from universities and research institutes, meaning that there is a growing awareness of EFSA’s work in academic circles”.

Prof Edwards, who is also a member of the Red Tractor organisation’s technical advisory committee for pigs, will work alongside risk-assessment experts from a number of EU member states to address the following AHAW objectives:

  • Risk assessment, quantitative risk assessment, modelling.
  • Microbiology and pathology (applied to infectious diseases of food-producing animals, including aquatic animals).
  • Epidemiology.
  • Animal welfare.
  • Animal production (husbandry, housing and management, animal transport and stunning and killing of animals).

In terms of her own pig research background, meanwhile, Prof Edwards lists the following specialist interests:

  • Multidisciplinary approaches to improve pig welfare.
  • Prevention of abnormal behaviour in pigs.
  • Housing systems for farrowing and lactation.
  • Improving piglet survival and managing the low birthweight piglet.
  • Nutritional influences on reproduction in the pig.
  • Detection and management of pig disease.
  • Management of extensive and organic livestock production systems.

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About The Author

Freelance journalist Colin Ley is Pig World's website news reporter