About 100 pig and poultry farms in France will participate in a large project to identify and evaluate specific biosecurity measures for open air livestock farming.
The experiment is an initiative of the department of agriculture and food sovereignty and will run till the end of May 2025. Among the partners are the French technical institutes for livestock farming and the Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (Anses). The department of agriculture finances the project with € 700,000 from the national Relance Plan announced after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Open air livestock holdings have a number of strong specific demands linked to the quality standards to which they adhere. Animals must be kept longer and for a strict amount of time in the open air and their products have to be sold in so-called short circuits, the department explains. Wishing to improve both the proper application and the effectiveness of the biosecurity measures required by national rules and regulations, the department initiated this large project on a national scale.
The department hopes to finish the selection of participating farms in September. The main objectives of the pilot are to carry out and evaluate risks analyses at the pilot farms, to support the farmers with the application of biosecurity measures, to organise a scientific evaluation of the effectiveness of those biosecurity prevention measures and to assess which of those measures should be implemented permanently and made legally compulsory.