LMC sponsors animal science conference

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The British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) conference brought informed insight and debate on animal welfare and nutrition to Belfast as stakeholders gathered at the Assembly Buildings for the three-day event.

The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) alongside its Welsh counterparts, HCC – Meat Promotion Wales, sponsored a session on ‘sustainable small ruminant systems’. This session focussed on sheep production, meat quality, productivity and emission reductions.

Following the event, LMC chief executive, Colin Smith said, “It was great to see strong attendance at the session on sustainable small ruminant systems. This is an important topic and one of particular relevance to the sheep sector in Northern Ireland.

“The session aptly touched on productivity, and we are acutely aware that a growing global population will need fed. The United Nations forecasts the number of mouths to feed globally will rise to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Agricultural production will need to increase by an estimated 60 percent to meet that need. This comes hand in hand with challenges from decreasing land area availability for food production.”

LMC chief executive Colin Smith speaking at the BSAS conferenceLMC chief executive Colin Smith speaking at the BSAS conference
LMC chief executive Colin Smith speaking at the BSAS conference

While noting that this was a challenge facing the sector Colin remarked that over the years the sheep industry had successfully adapted and evolved to survive the challenges that inevitably arise in livestock systems with global supply chains.

Confident that going forward this would continue to be the pattern Colin said: “The sheep sector is resilient and makes an important contribution to agriculture’s overall worth of more than £6 billion to the Northern Ireland economy. It is critical however that the sector is appropriately supported both now and in the future. Science and innovation are and will continue to be, at the heart of our sustainable journey."