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Discuss the future of farm animal genomics

30 June 2005

Discussion Lunch, 12-2pm, Monday 4 July, Royal Show, Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, CV8 2LZ

Members of an independent panel who looked at the future of farm animal genomics in the UK will be discussing their emerging findings at the Royal Show on Monday 4 July. The discussion meeting, hosted by The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), will give members of the public the chance to comment on the developing recommendations before they are formally presented to BBSRC Council later in the month.

Farm animal genomics is the science of understanding the genetics and gene function of livestock animals and its applications to general life sciences. Outcomes from farm animal genomics have the potential to inform our fundamental understanding of animals, animal health and welfare, including human health. Because of this, in summer 2004 BBSRC recruited an independent panel and launched a wide-ranging consultation that asked interested stakeholders, including industry, public and NGOs, such as animal welfare groups, what they thought the priorities of research, utilisation and funding should be.

Key questions examined by the panel included: Should BBSRC fund farm animal genomics at all? Should the research focus on animal health only or should human health benefits be a priority? Which animals should we concentrate on? How could commercial herds be brought into research and what are the ethical and welfare implications?

Professor Julia Goodfellow, BBSRC Chief Executive, said, “The consultation on farm animal genomics was the broadest that BBSRC has ever commissioned and asked radical and searching questions about the future direction of this research. They were asked to examine every aspect of research priorities including the animals we should be studying, ethical issues and even if farm animal genomics should be a priority.”

Media are welcome to attend the discussion lunch. Please register by contacting the media office.

ENDS

Notes to editors

Show takes place from 3-6 July 2005 at Stoneleigh Park, near Kenilworth in Warwickshire. To find out more and book tickets online visit the website at http://www.royalshow.org.uk

About BBSRC

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £380 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk

Contact

Patrick Middleton, Head of Engagement

tel: 01793 413368

Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382