Summary Workshop Austria

The Austrian workshop took place on November 3rd in St. Stefan im Rosental, a village located in an intensive pig production area in the south of Austria. ‘Research for Agriculture’ was the heading of the event. Around 120 participants took part, most of them farmers but also some stakeholders of the meat-processing industry. As the general meeting of the Association of Austrian Pig Farmers took place the same day, synergies have been used. Before the event started, some brochures about the project and the questionnaire relating to the needs of European pig farmers have been handed out. During the event the farmers had time to fill in the questionnaires so that they could submit them in the end.

After the presentation of the project by Georg Mayringer, who explained structure and objectives of the project, three expert talks were given. Josef Kamphues, professor at the veterinary school Hanover, gave the first talk on the subject of Fodder and feeding as a cause of loss in pig population. In his talk, he pointed out the potential influences of fodder and feeding on health and performance of pigs, which range from adequate nourishment to contaminants in fodder. Rebecca Langhoff, who works at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, gave the second talk. She talked about Biosecurity – animal health by risk minimisation and presented a number of preventative measures to minimise the risk of spreading diseases in agricultural holdings. 

Dirk Hesse, an agricultural consultant, gave the third talk on the subject of Implementation of sow group housing in practice and current discussions about animal welfare in Europe. He explained the legal situation concerning animal welfare and talked about its implementation in practice. Moreover he pointed out advantages and disadvantages of particular systems of animal husbandry. After the talks participating farmers had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss with the speakers.  

Especially young farmers seem to be interested in new approaches concerning knowledge and technology transfer. Probably they also see the project as a possibility to strengthen Austria’s pig farmers during these hard times they face.

After the event the Association of Austrian Pig Farmers published three articles in their magazine to disseminate the information about the project and the content of the expert talks. Moreover two other agricultural newspapers reported on the RTD2Farm workshop.