Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 100

interactions’, ‘Long term effects of
environmental effects in early life’, ‘Predictive
understanding of phenotypic expression’ and
‘Immune regulation at mucosae’ as potential
opportunities.
The Excellent Science pillar also supports the
development of research infrastructures, which
the ATF describes as “essential” in realising a
“sustainable, smart and competitive Europe”.
Consequently, the platform has again identified
a number of priorities in this objective, namely
‘Facilitating pan-European sharing of
expensive experimental research facilities’,
‘Developing high throughput phenotyping
infrastructures – physical and virtual’, and
‘Investment in biobanks’.
The European farming sector, and in particular
the livestock sector, is a major contributor to
the EU’s economy. The support the
Commission provides is realised through the
CAP as well as Horizon 2020 for determining
future directions, in addition to the steps the
EU institution is taking to tackle antimicrobial
and antibiotic resistance.
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A N I M A L H E A L T H
Animal antibiotics
Over ten years ago, the EU banned the use of antibiotics as growth
promoters in animal feed. Legislation that came into effect in 2006
saw the final substances of monensin sodium, salinomycin sodium,
avilamycin and flavophospholipol banned from use. The antibiotics
were used for fattening cattle, pigs and piglets, rabbits, chickens,
and turkeys.
The ban was the final step in the phasing out of antibiotics used for
non-medicinal purposes and was part of the Commission’s strategy
to tackle the emergence of bacteria and other microbes resistant to
antibiotics due to their overexploitation or misuse. Such a decision,
according to the EU institution, was taken following the emergence
of antimicrobial resistance in both humans and animals, and,
consequently, the Commission has decided to phase out, and
ultimately ban, the marketing and use of antibiotics as growth
promoters in feed.
grassland-based livestock production; and create climate smart, robust
and resilient animal production systems.”
“Healthy livestock and people – prevention and control of disease by
integrated management of animal health; the microbiome; improve
product quality; and increase food and feed safety.”
The paper continues: “Knowledge exchange towards innovation – co-
operation and knowledge exchange with producers towards innovation;
implementation of animal welfare management and ‘omics’ tools.”
Within these four identified areas, further sub-topics have been singled
out as priorities for research. The themes are ordered in terms of
importance, although notable research areas include ‘Efficient and robust
animals’ and ‘Efficient feed chains’ in the ‘Resource efficiency’ area;
‘Climate smart agriculture’ in the ‘Responsible livestock farming systems’
area; and ‘The microbiome, animal and human health’ in the ‘Healthy
livestock and people’ area.
Partnerships
In concert with addressing the priorities outlined in the Societal
Challenges pillar, the ATF also highlights the importance of meeting
related goals and realising the benefits of European partnerships. The
organisation draws attention to the European Innovation Partnership on
Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability, “whereby multi-actor groups
at the local or regional level will link livestock and multifunctional farms
with research and extension and other actors, to define problems and
promote innovative and sustainable solutions”.
A further focus is completing the European Research Area, which will
assist in research co-operation in the animal sciences sector, as well as
reducing “unnecessary fragmentation and overlap”. The ATF also stresses
the importance of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions and the benefits
the programme brings to training and increasing researcher mobility.
Excellence in science
In addition to the second and third pillars, the ATF identifies “major
opportunities for fundamental investments” within Horizon 2020’s first
pillar, Excellent Science. The organisation identifies ‘Host-microbiome
Five million farmers in
the Union raise
livestock for human
consumption
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