New 1M poultry research facility aims to improve bird welfare and help consumer confidence

A new 1M state-of-the art poultry facility offering specialist, industry-focused research into both laying hen and broiler health, welfare, behavior and productivity, will open today [Wednesday 24 January] at the University of Bristol’s Veterinary School.

The new CIEL poultry facility , which features fully-monitored and controlled hatching housing, compliments Bristol’s existing specialist facilities for cattle, pig, sheep and aquaculture.

The new facility also forms part of the Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL) , a national consortium comprising 12 research institutes across the UK, funded by Innovate UK , to develop new industry-needed solutions as well as commercial trial farms for real world results.

Professor Richard Hammond , Head of the Bristol Veterinary School, said: “Bristol Veterinary School has world class expertise and over three decades of experience working with industry to help address the challenge of livestock heath and, welfare and production. This new facility marks a step change by providing the very best research facilities to improve poultry welfare and sustainable productivity.”

Dr Andy Butterworth, Poultry specialist research lead at the University of Bristol, said: “The unit will help extend our collaborative work on housing design and welfare assessment to develop innovative ways to optimise egg production and business performance through improved health, welfare and nutrition as well as bridging the gap between commercial systems and small-scale experimental units, combining industry standard housing with poultry monitoring, at a flock and an individual level.”

The facility will be formally opened by Dr Sue Armfield of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy with University of Bristol Dean Jonathan Sandy of the faculty of health at 4 pm on Wednesday 24 January at the Bristol Veterinary School, Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU.