PPILOW 3rd Annual meeting in Venice

– by Anne Collin (INRAE)

PPILOW 3rd annual meeting in Venice was dedicated to the sharing of 3 years project results and the means to amplify their impact. The European PPILOW project partners gathered in Venice from the 11th to the 13th of October, 2022: fortunately, after 2 years of sanitary restrictions, it was possible for 47 members from 20 PPILOW partner organizations in 8 European countries to meet lively and share advances. Thanks to the Italian partners AIAB, Slow Food Biodiversity, University of Perugia (UNIPG) and EAAP, and to INRAE Transfert, PPILOW collaborators had the chance to valorise working together on both scientific and applied points of view in this wonderful city, and met Italian producers. To stimulate idea exchanges, three interactive sessions held in subgroups focused on:

–  supporting the development of the business models based on the use of PPILOW levers for improving animal welfare in low-input outdoor and organic producers, in pigs, broilers and laying hens, organized by LUKE (Finland) and Thuenen Institute (Germany) partners.

– playing roles in focus groups dedicated to 3 topics: “From doing to saying: traceability starting from the taste”, “Who is going to feed us in the future?”, “Pig and Poultry welfare: where is Europe going?” including the participation of Italian member of the Italian Practitioner Group sharing his experience and farm products. The focus groups were facilitated thanks to the great investment of AIAB, Slow Food Biodiversity, UNIPG and EAAP partners

– refining PPILOW results exploitation and impacts in a workshop proposed by INRAE Transfert with EAAP and the other project partners, allowing to identify the end-users of the project innovations for poultry and pig welfare, and how to reach them at best.

Thanks to the project multiactor participatory approach, and despite the difficulties to meet and visit farms due to SARS-COV-2 pandemic and avian influenza, many results of the project were released this year, among which a review on barriers and levers for improving welfare in laying hens and a review on the current challenges faced by the egg industry, the development and extension of 2 smartphone applications available in 9 and 7 languages, the PIGLOW® app for pigs and EBENE® apps for poultry, respectively, presented in 2 videos,  results on range use and behaviour of slow-growing broilers, a publication on pig gastrointestinal parasites, and one on egg production and quality in dual-purpose breeds. PPILOW partners and the project’s National Practitioner Groups are now fully engaged in the field studies, among which some are testing the PPILOW-proposed levers for avoiding piglet castration and feather pecking in laying hens without beak trimming, the use of dual-purpose poultry breeds, and levers to favour robustness, positive behaviours and health in pigs and poultry.