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Launch of the European PROHEALTH project: reconciling livestock production systems and sustainable development

Associating 22 public and private sector partners, including INRA, this project launched in December 2013 will explore new options to improve the production quality of intensive pig and poultry livestock units, limit their impact on the environment and preserve profitability for livestock farmers and all those who owe their livelihood to animal production.

Fattening pigs on straw litter. © INRA, MAITRE Christophe
Updated on 05/30/2014
Published on 06/04/2014

Coordinated by Newcastle University, the PROHEALTH research project (PROduction HEALTH – sustainable intensive pig and poultry production) involves a consortium of 22 partners from 11 European countries. This project has received the highest grant ever allocated by the European Union to the field of animal production (€9 million, for a total eligible cost of €11.9 million).  The project focuses on exploring new options to improve animal health and production quality while limiting its impact on the environment and preserving the profitability of livestock units and related sectors. 

The PROHEALTH programme will focus on the infectious and non-infectious diseases that are common in pig and poultry (table poultry, laying hens and turkeys) units using different production methods, throughout the EU. An epidemiological and experimental approach will be implemented to study the links between genetic predisposition and environmental factors (nutrition, management).


The largest research network in the world on pigs and poultry

Launched officially on 17 December 2013 for a five-year period, PROHEALTH involves ten academic partners, a European association, four industrial partners and seven SMEs, all with expertise in the veterinary sciences and epidemiology, animal physiology and immunology, the social and economic sciences, genetics and nutrition, as well as animal welfare and pig and poultry production sciences.

The PROHEALTH project will generate new tools to predict the onset and development of diseases linked to livestock farming, and communication tools to further raise the awareness of all actors and improve knowledge sharing, while being a spearhead for technological innovation.  This should result in improvements to pig and poultry livestock systems throughout the European Union, with positive repercussions at a global level.

In France, INRA, the CCPA Group and Zoetis have been chosen to participate in this ambitious programme.

Scientific contact(s):

  • Nathalie LE FLOC’H (+33 2 23 48 50 39) Joint Research Unit for the Physiology, Environment and Genetics of Animals and Livestock Systems (UMR 1348, PEGASE)
  • Philippe VELGE (+33 2 47 42 78 93) Joint Research Unit for Infectiology and Public Health (UMR1282)
Press Relations:
Patricia MARHIN (+33 (0)2 23 48 52 64)
Other contact(s):
Caroline Junod, Communication manager, the CCPA Group (+33 2 99 47 53 63), Julien Raquidel, Zoetis
Associated Division(s):
Animal Physiology and Livestock Systems , Animal Health
Associated Centre(s):

Partners in the Prohealth project

  • Newcastle University, UK (project coordinator)
  • Accelopment AG, Switzerland
  • Aviagen Ltd., UK
  • Conseils et Compétences en Productions Animales (CCPA Group), France
  • Coren S.C.G., Spain
  • European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders, Netherlands
  • Ghent University, Belgium
  • Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France
  • JSR Genetics Ltd, UK
  • MTT Agrifood Research Finland, Finland
  • Poultry Health Services Ltd, UK
  • PigCHAMP Pro Europa SL, Spain
  • The Danish Agriculture & Food Council, The Pig Research Centre, Denmark
  • The University of Nottingham, UK
  • Tivix Europe Sp ZOO, Poland
  • University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • University of Reading, UK
  • Vedanko BVBA, Belgium
  • Veterinary Research Institute, Czech Republic
  • Vitatrace Nutrition Ltd, Cyprus
  • Warsaw University of Life Sciences (WULS-SGGW), Poland
  • Zoetis International Services S.A.S., France

PROHEALTH: minimising livestock losses

According to forecasts by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), needs for animal proteins are expected to increase by 50% during the next 40 years.  Sustainable development will be a fundamental principle to deal with this global demand by producing safe and good quality foods available of an affordable price, while optimising the use of natural resources.  According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), 30% of food production is currently lost because of the diseases (infectious or not) that occur in livestock units, at both the European and global levels.  The aim of the PROHEALTH project is to minimise these losses which, if they remain unresolved, will hamper our ability to respond to the demand for animal proteins and at the same time compromise animal health and welfare.