porc quality; antibiotic use; production system optimization; knowlege transfer; protein efficiency
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Meat production and consumption often is accused to cause or exaggerate a number of problems regarding environmental pollution and the emerging antibiotic resistant pathogenic microorganisms. A recent survey on Swiss grower-finisher pig farms reported large differences in the efficiency by which feed is converted into animal tissue and thus into pork. The large variation suggests that the latest knowledge to optimize the production systems is often not efficiently applied by commercial farms. As a major part of the variation in efficiency seems to be caused by suboptimal housing and management, the optimization of the production system also offers important potential to reduce the dependency on antibiotics and to improve resource use efficiency.Novel animal breeding schemas offer additional approaches to address these challenges. Antibiotic medication can be reduced by making use of genetically determined resistance against Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), a major cause of diarrhea, oedema disease and death among piglets. Novel breeding measures, such as focussing on the concept of residual feed intake also offer a novel approach to improve feed efficiency. Product quality has to be a focus in every optimization of a production system. The already significant contribution of meat to the supply of valuable and essential nutrients can be further improved and there is potential for increasing eating quality.The major aim of this project is to show feasible ways to produce a not only nutritious and delicious but also healthy product while avoiding negative impact of antibiotic medication and unnecessary emission, thus contributing at the same time to an enjoyable as well as sustainable life-style. Contributions from breeding, feeding, husbandry, trade, and meat processing will be combined to achieve this goal. Reasons for the lack of implementation of existing and new knowledge in the area of reducing emissions and antibiotic medication will be analyzed and concepts will be developed to more efficiently disseminate relevant information to the stakeholders.