A new international research group (COST ACTION) has started to address the problem of keel bone damage in laying hens.
The KeelBoneDamage COST Action will provide the laying hen industry with the innovations in breeding, nutrition, and management necessary to resolve the problem of keel bone damage in order to meet the high standards of welfare and productivity demanded by the European community. The extremely high frequency and severity of keel bone damage represents one of the greatest welfare problems facing the industry, a position held by leading authorities of animal welfare, including the UK`s Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The Action seeks to provide a platform for collaboration on the causes of keel bone damage and solutions to reduce their severity and frequency. Through coordination of a variety of mediums including meetings, training schools and scientific exchanges, our network brings a diverse mix of disciplines together to facilitate novel and trans-disciplinary discussions that will lead to an accelerated rate of discovery and achievements. Participants come from a variety of stakeholder groups including academic scientists, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and industry. The diversity of these partners will ensure that developments are directed into tangible outputs that improve animal welfare and farm productivity.