Leading research institution the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has announced the launch of the UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub. The hub is backed by the Global Challenges Research Fund of UK Research & Innovation.
The GCRF One Health Poultry Hub will address the need to meet rising demand for poultry meat and eggs in developing countries, while minimising risk to international public health. Population growth is driving global demand for poultry, meat and egg production; this unfortunately creates conditions in which animal diseases can spread to humans (‘zoonoses’). These include bacterial food poisoning and strains with avian influenza with epidemic or pandemic potential. The GCRF One Health Poultry Hub will adopt a ‘One Health’ approach to the issue of combatting animal-to-human diseases by bringing together a team of laboratory, clinical, veterinary and social scientists. This team will test and evaluate novel interventions.
The need for safe poultry production is most urgent in South and South East Asia, so the RVC and its partners will then use their local networks in these regions to put its positive research to immediate use.
GCRF One Health Poultry Hub Director Professor Fiona Tomley of the RVC said: “I am privileged and delighted to lead this exciting partnership. The enthusiasm and engagement of our diverse team gives me confidence that we will succeed in assisting the development of policies for environmental, economic and social sustainability of poultry production systems and reduce threats to human and animal health and welfare.”
Professor Stuart Reid CBE, Principal of the RVC, said: “The Royal Veterinary College is truly honoured to be leading this international interdisciplinary partnership addressing such important global issues as food security and public health associated with intensification of poultry production. The opportunity the award of this Hub creates for our collaborative research to have impact on human health, animal welfare and the problem of antimicrobial resistance is an incredibly exciting one which we intend to exploit to the full.”