Swedish University of Agricultural Science

The Avian Division of the Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management, employing about 100 people, belongs to the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala. The Division moved into the Research Centre of Funbo-Lövsta in 1973 together with the Division for Pigs and Poultry at the Dept. of Animal Genetics. The administration and Head Office of these two departments are located at the University Campus. internet: www.huv.slu.se

The Avian Division at Funbo-Lövsta, including 11 people, has long experience of collaboration with the industry both on national and international basis as regards the planning and running of studies on environmental effects on layers from housing systems and designs. It is one of the main Centres in Europe on these topics. The studies have been focused on effects on production, health and applied behaviour with the aim to improve unenriched cages, floor systems as well as enriched cages. Collaboration with other groups in Europe has also produced joint scientific papers in international journals. During the recent years the Department has been responsible for follow up of production and health data from commercial farms with different equipment when testing them, e.g. aviaries and enriched cages. This material can provide in a unique way to the evaluation of different systems in commercial use. Contacts with the authorities of either veterinary or other categories have been extensive.

Assoc. Prof. R. Tausonis a specialist on research in housing systems and their effects on production and behaviour of laying hens since 1974. He has extensive experience with all housing systems for laying hens and with enriched cages in particular. He is in charge of the research on housing systems at Funbo-Lövsta. He is advisor of the Swedish government in issues dealing with welfare and housing of laying hens. He has developed a scoring system for poultry integument (feather cover, foot pad lesions, injuries, etc.) that is used in Sweden to evaluate housing systems in commercial use. The system is also used in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Spain and outside the EU in Australia, Canada and Norway. He is a member of WPSA Working Group on Poultry Welfare and was chairman of this group between 1986-1995 and has participated in several European Projects dealing with laying hens. With his wide experience in evaluating health parameters, he is WP-leader of WP3.
(E:mail: Ragnar.Tauson@huv.slu.se)