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Livestock production


Food security in the context of this priority covers the sustainable production of sufficient, safe, nutritious and affordable food to supply the world's growing population. The overall BBSRC food security priority aims to encourage research that will enhance UK and/or global food security, by providing knowledge and evidence that will enable food producers and processors, retailers, consumers and governments to respond to and manage the challenges facing the UK food system, and related global issues including those confronting the developing world.

Tackling the food security challenge will require multifaceted and cross-disciplinary approaches. Multidisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged under this priority, including those that draw on expertise from across the biosciences and, where appropriate (and provided the majority of the work falls within BBSRC's remit), proposals at the interfaces with other Research Councils. These might include collaborations between biologists and physical, environmental, medical or social scientists. Integration of the latest bioscience and modelling techniques is encouraged at all scales from molecules and cells to agricultural systems and landscapes.


This challenge covers research to increase the efficiency and sustainability of animal production, including minimising negative environmental impacts, such as emissions of greenhouse gases.

Also included is research into the genetics and genomics of farmed animals for improved breeding and endemic and exotic diseases resistance, including zoonoses. As well as livestock and poultry, the priority includes research underpinning food production from aquaculture, where there is a need to increase the diversity of species that are used, and to develop sustainable sources of feed for farmed fish.

Applications in this area must take due account of animal welfare. Applications addressing both production and welfare drivers are particularly welcome, please also refer to the separate overarching BBSRC priority on animal welfare.

If you are unclear on definitions of livestock, farmed and non-farmed animals please contact the BBSRC Office.

Tackling the food security challenge will require cross-disciplinary approaches which may span a number of the challenges under the broader food security priority. BBSRC would particularly welcome applications that also address the food security priority BBSRC would particularly welcome applications that address the food security priority in a broader context and would recommend applicants to read all five strategic priorities in the food security area before applying.

Outputs and impacts

The translation of research outputs into practical use and application by consumers, the agriculture and food industries, policy makers and non-governmental organisations will be critically important in meeting the future challenges. Impacts on training and the UK skills base should be considered. Ultimately the key output from this priority will be research underpinning a secure global supply of safe and healthy food.

Ethical and other issues

Applicants will need to consider any requirements for animal usage (including power calculations), licences and ethical approval and should refer to the BBSRC grants guide.