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EFFAB is looking for a new director

For the advert, please click here.

FACCE JPI announce call for pre-proposals Climate Smart Agriculture

Under the ERA-NET Plus action “Climate Smart Agriculture: Adaptation of agricultural systems in Europe” co-funded by the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) of the European Commission, a call for pre-proposals has been launched today addressing adaptation of European agriculture to climate change in its broad sense. Four areas are highlighted as key to advancing research on genetics and breeding of animals and plants to increase resilience to climate change; pests and diseases of animals and plants linked to climate and posing significant risks; adaptive management of water and soil resources and options for adapting agricultural systems. More information.

A time line for H2020

  • Preparatory work in ITRE*: September/October 2013
  • Vote on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) in the EP Plenary: September/ October 2013
  • Vote on Horizon 2020 in EP Plenary: October/November 2013
  • Adoption by the Council: November/December 2013
  • Adoption of work programme and publication of first calls for proposals: 11 December 2013
  • Horizon 2020 national launch events: October 2013 to January 2014

DG AGRI is looking for expert in Genetic Resources for EIP

DG AGRI has launched a new call for experts for the European Innovation Partnership on Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability.

For the current call, experts are invited to apply for participation in focus groups of which the most relevant topic is:

·        Genetic resources: co-operation models

See for more information: or contact EFFAB.

Breeders disappointed by EP vote on Nagoya implementation

Failure to address specificites of animal breeding may hamper innovation & limit practical benefit sharing

Animal breeders are very disappointed by the European Parliament's vote on the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit sharing of genetic resources. There are fears that measures may lead to a loss of innovation within the agricultural sector and deny access to research material for further development.

EFFAB supports the objectives of the Naogoya Protocol - a fair sharing of benefits for the use of genetic resources  under sovereignty of countries - but calls for rules that take into account the specific needs of animal breeding to secure balanced and workable regulation. We will continue to work with our partners in further discussions with the European Council.

Commission seeks to boost genetic resources

How can we improve the conservation of genetic resources of EU farms? – this is what the EU’s executive (DG AGRI) seeks to find out in a call for tender for an assessment launched on Aug 19. The ‘European Parliament preparatory action’ will include a mapping exercise, expert interviews, case studies & workshops. The continued loss of agricultural biodiversity is an issue of increasing concern. Preserving the use of agricultural genetic resources - including breeding new varieties in particular at the local level - is vital for adaptation to climatic change, pests & diseases, Commission officials say. A final conference is foreseen to disseminate the results. The deadline for submitting offers is Oct 25. The results of the work may feed into future proposals. More information.


EFFAB will be attending EAAP 2013

EFFAB will be attending the 64th annual meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science in Na

ntes France. The central theme of the conference is this year New challenges facing animal production for diversifie

d territories, market demands and social expectations. 


EFFAB welcomes FBF

EFFAB is very pleased to welcome our latest new member – FBF (Förderverein Biotechnologieforschung–the Association for Biotechnology Research). FBF supports research projects in the field of animal reproductive biology and genome analysis. It is the umbrella organisation for SME dairy and pig AI and breeding organisations in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The aim is the improvement of animal breeding, notably by promoting innovative methods. FBF also conducts patent observation and was successful in the defence of patents in the field of sperm sexing technology. Director Dr. Bianca Lind looks forward to working with EFFAB; further information about FBF is available here.

Biodiversity update - EFFAB joins forces with EU plant breeders

EFFAB joined forces with the European Seeds Association (ESA), EU farmers organisation and the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association at a "Biodiversity Breakfast" in Brussels last month. Attended by representatives from over 15 national governments plus the European Commission, delegates discussed the importance of good management of genetic resources and the EU proposal to implement the Nagoya Protocol. Further details are available here.

EFFAB has also been invited to join the ESA at an event in the European Parliament on June 19th, hosted by Italian MEP, Herbert Dorfmann (EPP), with the aim of bringing the debate to members of the European Environment Committee and to discuss the implications of the Nagoya protocol for EU agriculture and livestock.

EFSA call for new Management Board members

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in Parma, has issued a call for expressions of interest to join the Management Board. Further details are available here; the closing date is 12th July 2013.

EFFAB celebrates International Day of Biodiversity with 'Biodiversity Breakfast' in Brussels 

EFFAB will join forces with the European Seeds Association, Copa-Cogeca and the International Biocontrols Manufacturers Association this Wednesday morning to stress to policymakers and politicians the importance of good managements of genetic resources at a "Biodiversity Breakfast" in Brussels. More information is available here

Enforcement of animal welfare during transport - Bringing Best Practice to Light
The following animal welfare event is being jointly organised by the EU Commission, Irish Presidency of the EU and UECBV in Dublin on May 29th.

Venue: Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland
This conference is a collaborative initiative organised by the European Commission in co-operation with the Irish Presidency with the support of UECBV (The European Livestock and Meat Trading Union). It will serve as a valuable learning platform which facilitates the sharing of practical experiences of enforcement of the EU legislation on animal welfare during transport among the primary stakeholders. Contemporary perspectives that include the use of novel approaches and modern technologies to promote better compliance will be investigated. Delegates shall benefit from the active discussion forum and networking opportunity that this conference affords.
• Registration is now open here

If you are unable to go to this event but would like to know more about it, the EFFAB Secretariat plans to attend on your behalf.

May 14, Brussels: Healthy livestock and people seminar
On Tuesday afternoon May 14, EADGENE_S and the Animal Task Force together organised a seminar on integrated approaches for securing animal health in Europe in Brussels. The event brougth together science, policy and industry to discuss the integrated approaches needed for securing animal health in Europe and to outline research priorities in animal health for the coming years.

Mrs. Mairead McGuinness - Member of European Parliament - will host the event.

Along with the seminar, three EADGENE_S satellite meetings are organised:

May 14:   09:00 - 12:00 Satellite workshop: ‘overview FP7 projects on animal health’
                12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
                13:00 - 17:30 Seminar ‘Healthy livestock & people’
                18:30 - 21:00 Dinner meeting: industry session - from theory to practice

May 15:  09:00 - 13:00 Satellite workshop: miRNA workshop (Location: Casa Lombardia, Brussels)

Please go to the EADGENE_S website for the results.

Animal breeders welcome Council commitment to European research, innovation and science
The European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders (EFFAB) has today welcomed the agreement reached by the European Council on the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) and the commitment to enhance growth and jobs.

“We are very pleased to see the importance attached to research, innovation and education for delivering the Europe 2020 Strategy - through programmes such as Horizon 2020 and ERASMUS. However our members are disappointed that the Council did not support the full Horizon 2020 budget proposal” said EFFAB Chairman, Gerard Albers.

Partners in the Technology Platform for Sustainable Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction (FABRE-TP) have also welcomed the Council agreement but will now be looking to the European Parliament to protect the budget for Horizon 2020 “ Europe is at a critical point and it is only through a real investment in research and innovation that we will be able to achieve sustainable growth” commented FABRE-TP Director Dawn Howard.

Research, innovation and technological development are recognised as having the potential to deliver EU competitiveness and growth for the future. The animal breeding sector has a real role to play here in both developing and implementing new technologies which benefit both the environment and sustainable food supply. Public funding partnered with private resources under Horizon 2020 must be protected to continue to deliver benefits for EU citizens.

New FACCE-JPI call for research projects
We would like to inform you of the opening of a FACCE-JPI call for research projects on Greenhouse Gas Mitigation. FABRE-TP is a member organisation of FACCE-JPI, sitting on the Stakeholder Advisory Board.

This call will contribute to the implementation of the FACCE-JPI Strategic Research Agenda by addressing its core-theme 5: “Mitigation of Climate Change”. 11 FACCE-JPI countries are participating, with 3 other non-European countries: Canada, USA, New Zealand.

For more information please see the press release on the opening of the call, as well as a link to the FACCE website where the call announcement text can be found here.

Launch Strategic Research Agenda FACCE-JPI
EFFAB welcomes the launch today of the Strategic Research Agenda of the Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE – JPI) – ‘ A European strategy to tackle the great challenges of agriculture and food security under climate change’.

The SRA sets out the strategic priorities for trans-disciplinary and innovative European research on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change and provides a framework for the alignment of existing programs and joint research efforts to achieve the twin objectives of food security and combating climate change.

FABRE-TP is a member of the FACCE-JPI Stakeholder Advisory Board (StAB) and has contributed to this SRA; in addition EFFAB Director, Dawn Howard is Vice Chair of the StAB.

Please click here for the official press release.

Horizon 2020 – MEPs oppose budget cuts
EFFAB welcomes the strong message given by MEPS in support of funding for the Horizon 2020 research and innovation package at yesterdays’ meeting of the Industry, Energy and Research committee (ITRE) in Brussels.

Teresa Riera Madurell, (S&D, Spain) received cross-party support for her parliamentary report on the establishment of Horizon 2020. Speaking after the vote she said “Our goal is to make research and innovation the core of the productive economy and use it as a driver for competitiveness, growth and job creation...research findings should not stay in the lab: knowledge must be transferred along the entire chain of innovation until it becomes a product or a service on the market”

Maria Da Graça Carvalho (EPP, Portugal) and Christian Ehler (EPP, Germany), rapporteurs for the specific implementing and participation rules for Horizon 2020, said “Europe must not fall behind its international competitors. A reduction of the European budget for competitiveness equals an abandonment of the Europe 2020 Strategy" they said. "Advancements in science are equally crucial to the improvement of our quality of life, as they will cover areas such as good health, air and water quality.”

Kent Johansson (ALDE, Sweden) explained "It is of crucial importance that we step up our research and innovation efforts in order to face the future societal challenges such as the supply of raw materials, energy efficiency, energy security, an ageing population and the on-going fight against climate challenge”.

Later in the day the ITRE committee members also gave strong backing to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), an instrument designed to transform excellent European research, with the help of industry and SMEs, into successful entrepreneurial activities, innovative companies, jobs and growth.
Funding of the EIT was set at 3.3% of the total Horizon 2020 budget and several MEPs stated that it should be further strengthened. Proposals for the EIT include the establishment of a Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) for “Food4Future – sustainable supply chain from resources to consumers”.

The European Parliament and the European Council now have to agree on the EU budget 2014-2020, which includes the programme on research and innovation.

We welcome this clear statement of the European Parliaments’ negotiating position and their commitment to support EU research and innovation over the next seven years. This is a strong message to the Council that MEPs will oppose any proposed cuts to the €80 billion budget for Horizon 2020.

29th November 2012

European Antibiotic Awareness Day – live chat on Twitter
To mark the 5th European Antibiotic Awareness Day, experts from ECDC, World Health Organization European Regional Office (WHO/Europe), EU Commission's DG Health and Consumers and DG Research and Innovation held a live Twitter chat on 20 November 2012, 3:00-4:00 GMT to discuss antibiotic resistance. Click here to follow the discussion

Vacancy for a Policy Advisor
We are looking for a new Policy Advisor to join the EFFAB team based in Brussels.
Full details are available here; closing date 16th November.

F&G Connection 2012; registrations are open!

Fokkerij & Genetica Connection 2012

Event for Dutch-speaking people involved with farm animal breeding.
Thursday 29 & Friday 30 November 2012

Voor meer informatie en registratie, klik hier.

Seminar on Resource-use Efficiency | Wednesday November 7, Brussels.
How does Europe's livestock sector remain competitive in a context of growing resource scarcity and a need to address climate change? What are the opportunities and challenges to improve the European livestock sector resource-use efficiency? What would a European Agenda of Action for a sustainable livestock sector look like?

Seminar Invitation
Resource-use efficiency is a major challenge to the sustainable development of the livestock sector in Europe.
The size and complexity of this challenge requires multiple actions by multiple stakeholders.
The members of the Animal Task Force cordially invite politicians, policy-makers, industry representatives, research institutes and non-governmental organisations to join them for the seminar on:

"Resource-use Efficiency: Implications for the Sustainability and Competitiveness of the European Livestock Sector"

Wednesday November 7 | 10.00 - 17:00 | Copa-Cogeca office | 61, Rue de Trèves, Brussels.

You are invited to join this event. Please register by sending an e-mail before October 15 to
Participation is free.

Please click here for the invitation.

EFFAB supports MEP letter on Biodiversity
EFFAB joined a number of EU trade associations to support a letter on biodiversity which was recently presented by the European Seed Association to Members of the European Parliament in advance of a Green Party event “Financing and biopiracy: The challenges of the next UN Biodiversity Summit (COP11, India)”. A copy of the letter is can be found here.

EFFAB at EAAP 2012; a summary
From August 27th until August 31st, EAAP – European Federation of Animal Science – held their 63rd Annual  Meeting. The location of the meeting this year was Bratislava, Slovak Republic. The general theme of the Scientific Programme of the meeting this year was:

'Sustainability and efficiency of the livestock sector'

EFFAB staff attended this year’s EAAP meeting, representing not only EFFAB members but also the FABRE-TP (Sustainable Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction Technology Platform) and the ATF (Animal Task Force).

Besides several sessions on relevant scientific issues relating to animal science, there were a number dedicated to more specific topics. For example a one day symposium on ‘Nutrient utilization by ruminants’ and a two day  symposium on ‘Livestock and climate change: options for mitigation and adaptation’.

Genetics and reproduction was very well represented during the meeting, both by the number of attendees related to that area of animal science, and sessions organised within EAAP. One very well attended session focused on ‘Closing the phenomic gap: methods, data collection and experiments to select for new traits’. Another genetics  related session which generated some lively debate examined the balance between market requirements and production conditions in relation to pig breeding goals; illustrating the different needs of both mainstream products and niche products and the relevant breeds.

The plenary session this year focused on ‘Challenges for livestock production and animal science in a low carbon economy’ and the future of animal science research. Representatives from the European Commission gave insight into the plans regarding the upcoming framework programme Horizon 2020 and the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability. Attention was also paid to the industry objectives within animal science, both from a European and American perspective.

More information about this year’s meeting, including the full scientific programme, can be found here. Next year the 64th Annual Meeting of EAAP will be held in Nantes, France, from August 26th until August 30th.

Breed4Food to strengthen animal breeding
The Public Private Partnership “Breed4Food” was launched at 3 September 2012 at Wageningen, the Netherlands. Breed4Food is an initiative of four international breeding companies (Cobb Europe, CRV, TOPIGS and Hendrix  Genetics) with Wageningen University and Research Center (Wageningen UR) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (min. EL&I).

In 2011 the min. EL&I started a new policy to motivate industry to take the lead in innovation, the so-called ‘Top Sector’ policy. Nine ‘Top Sectors’ were identified, including Agro Food, which aims to bring industry, research and policy together. The philosophy behind this is to make decisions together, do it together and pay for it together.

The animal breeding industry is definitely taking the lead and has high ambitions. Ate Lindeboom (Director Operations & Development), CRV said at the launch "This new platform will focus on new traits for the different breeding programmes to tackle the societal challenges which will need new skills, larger computer capacity and different models. Therefore the top experts will be brought together in Wageningen.”

The sector is facing major challenges, with greater competition for food from a rising population, changing diets and new alternative uses of raw materials such as biofuels. At the same time, the effect of food production on the environment needs to be reduced therefore the aim is an increase in efficiency by a vector of 4 (i.e. double  production but reduce the environmental impact by half).

This initiative fits well in the mission of Wageningen UR "To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life." Martin Scholten (Managing Director – Animal Sciences Group) of Wageningen UR: “Breeding is the ultimate tool to do this and the breeding department of Wageningen UR is our pride.”

EFFAB and ATF present at 63rd EAAP Annual Meeting in Bratislava
EFFAB and the Animal Task Force will be joining colleagues from across Europe at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the EAAP in Bratislava, where the focus will be on sustainability and efficiency in the livestock sector.

EFFAB attends 18th ERFP Meeting in Bratislava
EFFAB is attending the 18th meeting of the Assembly of European National Coordinators for Animal Genetic Resources in Bratislava 25th to 26th August – further details are available here.

Marie Curie Prize - Call for nominations
The Marie Curie Actions invite their current and former fellows to participate in this year's Marie Curie Prize contest. The competition will be held in three distinct categories:

- Communicating Science ;
- Innovation and Entrepreneurship; and
- Promising Research Talent.

For more information, please click here.

Commission launches FP7-KBBE call
The call for FP7-KBBE (food, agriculture, biotechnology and fisheries) has been published on the European Commission website.
Full details are available here.
To go directly to the Call Fiche, please click here.

EFFAB welcomes the joint position statement of the Animal Task Force on Horizon 2020
EFFAB welcomes the joint position statement of the Animal Task Force on Horizon 2020 and supports the message that livestock is vitally important for Europe.

Annual General Meeting EFFAB 2012:
19-20 April, Edinburgh (United Kingdom)

In cooperation with the University of Edinburgh and Aviagen, EFFAB has organised its Annual General Meeting on the 19th and 20th of April 2012 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom.
Please click here for a short summary.

Reaction to Guidance on Risk Assessment for Animal Welfare EFSA
EFFAB reacted to the public consultation on the draft Guidance on risk assessment for animal welfare launched by EFSA’s Panel on Animal Health and Welfare. Please find the reaction here. 

The Council and European Parliament have not been able to reach an agreement in the conciliation process that ended by Monday 28 March and as a result there will be no rules governing the creating, keeping of or breeding from SCNT clones. “It is important that consumers feel comfortable about the food they eat, and also that producers and authorities are open and transparent about the way they produce food, and the choices they make”, says Anne-Marie Neeteson, general manager of EFFAB (European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders). ”Animal breeding is selecting the best animals to provide for the next generation – and working with broad and balanced breeding programmes. The Code of Good Practice on Sustainable Breeding (Code-EFABAR®) that has been developed to explain breeding is therefore useful. The potential use of animal cloning for animal breeding is currently low. We are glad that research on cloning can continue in Europe, as we are part of a global breeding community.“
Mrs. Neeteson points out that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recently stated that cloning does not interfere with food safety: food originating from cloned animals is not any different from that of regular animals. Offspring are not cloned animals. These offspring, like humans and like other farm animals have the characteristics of their father and their mother, and they were mated and born in the same way as other animals.
Any regulatory and control measures should be feasible and possible to implement in a reliable way. As has recently become clear in the United Kingdom, a major problem is that it is very difficult to trace offspring of cloned animals already present in the country. The reason for this is that an individual animal cannot be identified as a clone in a biological way. If a measure is implemented on offspring of clones, it would be impossible to comply with in a consistent way across the world as upcoming economies or developing countries would need to  develop water tight administrative systems to track all the parentage of any animal and all the products of all animals. The full pedigrees of commercial animals are not even tracked in EU cattle traceability systems. Therefore, this will render legislation on cloning impractical and strict measures will be inadequate, she concludes.
Mrs. Neeteson congratulates the Council on its desire to avoid misleading consumers by agreeing rules that cannot be enforced. 

Article about this on Biosciences | Knowledge Transfer Network

The European Commission envisage measures to restrict the use of cloning. However, this will seriously hamper animal production, says the Anne-Marie Neeteson, general manager of EFFAB (European Forum of Farm Animal Breeders). Mrs. Neeteson: 'We urge the European Commission to perform an impact assessment on animal production, trade and innovation (e.g. biodiversity) before any legal measures are taken. New rules on cloning should not result in extra administrative pressure or increase of costs for the animal production or breeding industry.'
Mrs. Neeteson points out that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has recently stated that cloning does not interfere with food safety: food originating from cloned animals is not any different from that of regular animals. Offspring are not cloned animals.Moreover, as has recently become clear in the United Kingdom, a major problem is that it is hardly possible to trace offspring of cloned animals already present in the country. Therefore, this will render legislation on cloning impractible and strict measures will be inadequate, she concludes.

New pages with information on animal cloning and the state of affairs can be found here

EFFAB is pleased to announce that UNCEIA (Union Nationale des Coopératives Agricoles d’Insémination Animale) have adopted Code-EFABAR® as an umbrella organisation. UNCEIA ( is a professional animal breeding umbrella organisation representing animal insemination and breeding organizations in cattle, sheep and goats in France.

New EFFAB Aquaculture Steering Committee Member
The EFFAB Steering Committee are happy to announce the new Aquaculture Steering Committee member Ashie Norris of Marine Harvest, who has taken over the position from Pierrick Haffray of SYSAAF.

Pig Research Centre has adopted Code-EFABAR®
EFFAB is pleased to announce that Danish Pig Research Centre has adopted Code-EFABAR®. Pig Research Centre is in charge of the pig breeding programme, research and development tasks related to the live pig and of communicating knowledge obtained through these activities. Pig Research Centre is part of the joint industrial organisation The Danish Agricultural and Food Council which is representing Danish farming and food industry.

Animal Cloning
EFFAB have provided answers to European Commission questions on animal cloning. In general, we agree with the European Commission that the progeny of clones are outside the scope of the novel foods directive as they are derived from conventional breeding practices and are normal animals.
Cloning is a technology that has some uses in agriculture for example the protection of rare individuals, or in the conservation of diversity through bio-banking, but currently the technology is very expensive and we see no justification for any widespread use of clones as production animals.
As all regulatory authorities now agree there are no identified or imaginable food safety issues with meat or milk derived from cloned animals or their progeny.

Hubbard Breeders have adopted Code-EFABAR®
EFFAB is pleased to announce that Hubbard Breeders have adopted Code-EFABAR®. Hubbard ( is an international poultry breeding organisation developing and marketing breeding stock for conventional and alternative markets.

Memorandum of Understanding with FAO
EFFAB and the Food and Agriculture Organisation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Animal Genetic Resources to discuss collaboration opportunities for supporting alignment of global animal breeding management with conservation of Animal Genetic Resources.

Hendrix Genetics has adopted Code-EFABAR® as an umbrella
EFFAB is pleased to announce that Hendrix-Genetics has adopted Code-EFABAR® as an umbrella organisation. The certificate has been handed out to Servé Hermans at the annual ISA – Hendrix-Genetics conference. Hendrix-Genetics ( are a multi species breeding company with divisions specialising in layer breeding, pig breeding, turkey breeding and poultry distribution.

Code-EFABAR® update agreed at EFFAB annual meeting
The EFFAB annual meeting have adopted the proposed updates of Code-EFABAR that were proposed by the working group consisting of Stéphane Barbier, Pierre Cherel, Christos Petrou and Arne Storset. Every three years a team of four breeders, one for each species group, relook into all the Code-EFABAR documents and propose amendments to adjust the general and guiding documents to the latest developments and insights. The changes will be implemented from 1 January 2011. The next update will be in 2014.

New website
EFFAB has a new website! Find everything you need to know about farm animal breeding and reproduction.

EFFAB recognise the importance of international comparability of animal health data. As part of the EADGENE project (, EFFAB have organized the mapping of animal health data gathering in pig, cattle and poultry in a number of European countries. The aim was to assess opportunities for more interoperability between countries on animal health data. This is important to improve the animal health status in Europe but also to provide phenotypic data for genomic selection, and to be able to independently show the changes and improvements over time of animal health and welfare developments in farm animal breeding and production. The latter is important to show the improvements over time in an independent way to the general public.  Animal health data collection is fragmented and lacks harmonisation. However there are structures and systems in place that contain very valuable information, if it were possible to access and consolidate these data on the European and/or species level. This would create a significant increase in the quantity and quality of the already collected and stored data. At two workshops the knowledge and technical input from experts of different bodies dealing with subjects of animal health data collection on notifiable diseases was brought together. They made clear there is added value for all species to build animal health data systems but with differences between species on implementation and application. Therefore species specific working groups were set-up to define the way forward. For all sectors involved there is an interest in the development of better coordinated systems for animal health related data. This can only be obtained by good involvement of stakeholders from the start with a bottom-up approach. Small pilot studies can show the benefits and can be expanded up to European wide harmonisation of animal health related data.

Patent Watch
The EFFAB members in the patent watch have agreed on a new year of watching patent proposals on broad patent proposals and patent proposals on already running business.

EFFAB provides important information on broiler breeding and welfare to European Food Safety Authority 
The EFFAB broiler breeders, in cooperation with European Poultry Breeders, gathered available public data, literature and reports and other information and sent this to EFSA in October 2009.This information was for use in the TOGA project and for consideration by the expert panel preparing opinions on Broiler genetics and welfare. Furthermore, answers were provided to the 19 specific questions asked by EFSA, with relevant data to illustrate the answers. The publicly available data confirm that animal welfare has improved over the years, whilst production has increased. The few public data on animal health and breeding (Canada) show that disease incidence has decreased over the last 15 years as well. Especially leg conditions have greatly improved. It is clear that the policy of the broiler breeders to implement balanced breeding, adding many traits in the breeding programmes over at least 25 years, has led to a significant increase of the welfare of the birds, whilst decreasing the environmental impact of poultry production, and increasing production level (growth and efficiency) of the birds. The companies will continue developing broad port folios of animal products, providing birds suitable for the various markets and circumstances. They also provide detailed supporting management guides for the poultry producers, to raise the birds in the best possible ways, and will continue to do so.

Aqua Gen has certified CODE-EFABAR®
EFFAB is pleased to announce that Aqua Gen has certified Code-EFABAR®. Aqua Gen is a selective breeding company which develops, produces and delivers genetic material to the global sea-farming industry. Through a market-oriented research and development Aqua Gen has achieved a leading position as a provider of fertilised eggs of Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout.

EFFAB is an FAO recognised NGO
EFFAB has been recognised as a Non Govermental Organisation by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation.

EFFAB and the Animal Task Force
Through the FABRE Technology Platform, EFFAB is actively involved in the Animal Task Force, a collaborative action of the animal technology platforms FABRE (sustainable animal breeding and reproduction), Global Animal Health (vaccines), EUFETEC (feed), EAAP, BKTN and major research bodies like INRA, WUR, SAC, University of Bonn and other research partners to enter the ATF shortly.

Bioeconomy Technology Platforms
EFFAB through the FABRE Technology Platform actively participates in the joint actions of the Bioeconomy Technology Platforms. Via an EC funded project BECOTEPS they are preparing a White Paper on the Bioeconomy and research and business.

New EFFAB Cattle Steering Committee Member
The EFFAB Steering Committee are happy to announce the new Cattle Steering Committee member Xavier David of UNCEIA, who has taken over the position from Margareta Håård of VikingGenetics.

Role of animal breeding to improve animal health and welfare in a balanced way
EFFAB is pleased/happy that the important opportunities of improving animal production, animal health and welfare through balanced selection and reproduction are being recognised via the inclusion of research on genetics in farm animals in the report on EU agriculture and climate change ((2009/2157(INI)); Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development; Rapporteur: Stéphane Le Foll), that the European Parliament is preparing.

The Advisory Council of Welfare Quality has issued a report on the project.
EFFAB is pleased that the Advisory Council report on the Welfare Quality project has been successfully finalized and presented at the final Welfare Quality conference at 10 October 2009 in Uppsala, Sweden, by Henri de Thoré. Integration of animal welfare as an integral part into running practices and schemes is important, as well as involvement of the animal sector in the development, feasibility and acceptability, taking into account the balance of animal breeding and production in a sustainability, economically feasible concept. Crucial will be the inclusion of economic reality, and purchase based improvements.

EADGENE & SABRE Industry days 2009 in Rome
The EADGENE and SABRE Industry days on the 3th & 4th of June in Rome were very successful.
The goal of the EADGENE & SABRE Industry days was to present before industry the major results of interest for the industry, and to further encourage the integration of research and industry. Several presentations concerning new technologies and innovative research projects were held. These days we very good for expanding and creating new networks and finding mutual interests between the breeding industry and research companies. For the presentations of the days, please look at > Events > Industry Days 2009 or > News & Events > Industry Days 2009

New EFFAB Chairman of the Steering Committee
During the annual meeting of 2009 in Rome, the chair position of the EFFAB Steering Committee was handed over by Margareta Håård (VikingGenetics) to Gerard Albers (Hendrix-Genetics). Margareta Håård has taken on this position for several years. EFFAB have much appreciated Margareta's chairmanship, and are glad the Steering Committee can still profit from her experience for some time. We look forward to  collaborating with Gerard Albers.

FAO-EFFAB meeting in Rome
At 3 June2009  the EFFAB members have met with the Animal Health and Production Division of FAO to exchange views and get acquainted. The Access and Benefit Sharing dossier of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was discussed. Moreover, the mutual interests were explored. FAO and EFFAB will work on a Memorandum of Understanding.
The Food and Agricultural Organisation have hosted the EFFAB annual meeting and SABRE EADGENE industry days in June 2009. We would like to thank FAO for their hospitality.

New EFFAB Pig Steering Committee Member
The EFFAB Steering Committee are happy to announce the new Pig Steering Committee member Ingela Velander of Danish Pig Research, who has taken over the position from Roland Aumüller. Roland will continue in the Steering Committee as treasurer.

The BECOTEPS (Bio-Economy Technology Platforms) project started its activities on 1 March 2009. BECOTEPS is a coordination and support action funded by EC DG Research  under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (226526) of the Knowledge Based Bio-Economy Network (KBBE net).
FABRE TP is one of the nine participating technology platforms in BECOTEPS. Three workshops will be organised on Food Feed chain (September 2009, Newcastle upon Tyne), Non Food Chain (October 2009, Brussels) and Sustainability (November 2009, Brussels). The results of the workshops will become input into a White Paper on KBBE.
Through FABRE TP, EFFAB has an important contribution to creating opportunities for a strong business climate for the European Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction Industry.

EFFAB moved office and a change in staff.
2009 comes with two changes for EFFAB.
The office moved to Wageningen and Marjolein Neuteboom is the successor of Angela van der Sanden.
Since the foundation of EFFAB in 2005 the office was based in the Institute of Pig Genetics (IPG) building of in Beuningen, the Netherlands. For EFFAB as a one-man organisation a good place to start. However, an independant and growing organisation representing many breeding companies should one day move forward to a more independant location. Therefore, since the 1st of January our new office is in Wageningen.
Not only the location of EFFAB is changing but also a staffmember is moving forward. After several years of hard work Angela van der Sanden has decided to pursue a new career path in February. The successor of Angela is Marjolein Neuteboom. She graduated in Animal Breeding and Genetics at Wageningen University and started working for EFFAB at the 1st of December.

Gerard Albers (Hendrix-Genetics), a new EFFAB Poultry Steering Committee Member.
We welcome Gerard Albers as the new EFFAB Poultry Steering Committee Member. He replaces Ken Laughlin (Aviagen) per 1 October 2008, who will retire.
Gerard Albers is the Director of the Hendrix Genetics Research & Technology Centre and a member of the Management Committee of the company. The Research & Technology Centre supports the Hendrix Genetics breeding divisions for layer chickens (ISA), turkeys (Hybrid) and pigs (Hypor) with up to date expertise and technologies that are shared between the genetic selection programs of the various species. These technologies include molecular genetics, statistical genetics and bio-informatics, reproduction technology and breeding information technology. The Centre runs collaborative projects with major academic institutions and companies around the world.

Viking Genetics has adopted Code-EFABAR®
If you wish to know more about the Code, please click here

CRV have adopted Code-EFABAR® as umbrella
EFFAB is pleased that CRV have adopted Code-EFABAR® as an umbrella organisation.

EFFAB established a 150% increase of EC funding for the breeding sector
EFFAB has made itself strong for its members. In Brussels EFFAB is representing its members for over 10 years already, indicating their needs and requests. This work was clearly succesful if we analyse the course of the funding level dedicated by the European Commission. The EC clearly recognises the importance of animal breeding and reproduction in the European society. EFFAB certainly has played and is still playing an important role in this. Keeping animal breeding and reproduction on the EC's agenda.

Aviagen has adopted Code-EFABAR®
EFFAB is pleased to announce that Aviagen has adopted Code-EFABAR®. The Aviagen Group is a major global player in poultry genetics. Aviagen develops pedigree lines for the production of commercial broilers and turkeys under the Arbor Acres, Ross, L.I.R., Nicholas and B.U.T. brand names. In addition, the company also is number one in research and development and a pioneer in the development and implementation of progressive biosecurity programmes for chickens and turkeys.

Sperm sexing concerns cleared off by the Code of Good Practice
One of EADGENE members has been questions by a Dutch political party. This political party was concerned about the sperm sexing activities of this member. The Dutch Minister of Agriculture has indicated its trust in the Dutch breeding organisation in question, as it has adopted the Code of Good Practice. Code-EFABAR. This Code sets out the goals of animal breeding organisations, the way in which these goals are pursued, and the rules or standards that govern the activities of breeders. The Code is a tool that can be used by breeding organisations to provide insight in how they work. The adaptation of this Code by the breeding organisations answered the questions of the political party, by taking away their concerns.

Successful FABRE Society Meeting.
At Wednesday 16 April 2008 the FABRE-TP Society Meeting took place. The meeting was attended by over 55 attendees and followed by the internet by 30 people, with a top of 45 people.
During the meeting the following topics in relation to Farm Animal Breeding and Reproduction were discussed: Social Responsibility and Competitiveness, Diversity and Distinctiveness; Biotechnology, Genetics and Reproduction; Knowledge base - biotechnology, genetics and reproduction. The meeting ended with a discussion panel on these topics. All presentations are available from  the FABRE website.