Universidad de Zaragoza

The University of Zaragoza (Universidad de Zaragoza) was founded in the year 1462 and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (Facultad de Veterinaria) is 152 years old. The areas of research are animal production in all its aspects (systems, nutrition, reproduction, breeding, food technology & inspection). At the Department of Animal Production and Food Technology (Producción Animal y Ciencia de los Alimentos) 131 people are employed, whereof 71 scientists. internet:wzar.unizar.es

The department is focussing on sheep, cattle, pigs, rabbits and poultry. The Animal Welfare Group of the Animal Production & Food Science Department of UNIZAR is the only group in Spain working with alternative housing systems for laying hens at commercial scale in an experimental unit property of the University of Zaragoza (equipped with funds coming from the national government, small & medium enterprises related with the egg production sector and the Spanish egg producers association). The experiments carried out in this poultry unit have the objective to test current commercial enriched cages under Spanish production conditions (hot climate, high natural light) and to develop - with the cooperation of a local poultry equipment company - a commercial enriched cage. This cage is already developed and UNIZAR is improving the original design. UNIZAR is also reference testing institute for a German poultry equipment company and this company uses information from the Spanish projects to improve the commercial designs. The tests include productive indexes, egg quality traits, behavioural needs, behaviour abnormalities, health indexes, stress indicators, plumage conditions, foot conditions etc.
UNIZAR has a strong relation with the egg producers sector, the retailers and consumers associations and the manufacturers of poultry equipment. This relation give them the opportunity to interact with the "real" problems of the welfare issues and its impact on the production systems. Their goal is to give solutions to these problems. All these things make UNIZAR "unique" in Spain and makes them the proper partner for the LayWel project.

Prof.Dr. G. Maria Levrino is a Professor of Animal Science at the University of Zaragoza. He is leading a national project to develop a model of enriched cages in Spain, funded by the Spanish association of Egg Producers, the Spanish Industry of Poultry Equipment and the Ministry of Science & Technology of Spain. The Spanish model of enriched cage is under test in the Poultry Unit of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Zaragoza. He is the Spanish coordinator of a European Project CATRA on the Effect of transport on Animal Welfare and Meat Quality on Cattle. He is the Spanish Representative in WPSA Working Group on Poultry Welfare.
(E:mail: evrino@posta.unizar.es)

Prof.Dr. R. Cepero Briz is a Professor of Poultry Science at the University of Zaragoza. He is the coordinator of several national projects in co-operation with Poultry Equipment Industry. The projects are mainly related with the alternative housing systems in laying hens, with special emphasis on the effect of alternative housing systems on the egg quality. He is the Director of the Poultry Experimental Unit in the University of Zaragoza. He is also the President of the Spanish Branch of the WPSA.