HealthyLivestock will carry out

a research programme to study the contributions of enhanced animal health and welfare on reducing the need to use antimicrobials in pigs and poultry.

Part of this project is funded by the EU


Innovating preventive management including biosecurity : Will quantify the main factors associated with prevention of disease spread on farms through housing or management and establish performance indicators to assess them

Improving animal resilience

The overall objective of this WP is to increase the resilience of pigs and poultry against disease challenges in modern intensive husbandry systems and by doing so reduce antimicrobial input .
Will study ways to improve the ability of animals to withstand or deal with pathogen challenges through welfare improvements which reduce stress or through nutritional measures improvement to the balance of gut microbiota through TCM or probiotics

Rapid detection of disease

Develop, validate, and deploy an automated behaviour and live weight analysis system that enables trait-specific monitoring for early detection of both generic health challenges and specific diseases . Early detection investigates ways of applying Precision Livestock Farming techniques to develop tools for early detection of health problems, both generic and specific, such as digestive and respiratory diseases. It is structured into three tasks that study how automated monitoring with a variety of sensors identifies individuals or groups in need of treatment

Targeted use & alternative medication

WP4 Targeted use of medication & alternative solutions reduces the need for antimicrobials by targeting individuals or sub-flocks for medication and by use of non-conventional alternatives

Validation of potential solutions

The overall objective of this WP5 is to identify the most promising technical and management practices to reduce the need for antimicrobials, on the basis of practical feasibility, societal acceptance and economic viability.
This WP will investigate the relative merits of the findings in WPs 1-4 in two parallel processes: the management related activities regarding Health & Welfare plans of WP1, and the Technical Solutions investigated in WPs 2-4

Dissemination and Exploitation

The overall objective of WP6 is to provide stakeholders with tools to improve health & welfare and reduce antimicrobial usage in broiler and pig farming.
This WP will consist of 7 Tasks, starting with the creation of a Dissemination plan, followed by 6 stakeholder-oriented communication activities

Project Coordination

Project Management : The overall objectives of this WP are to achieve the aims of the project in time, within the available budget and to the highest possible standard


HealthyLivestock Community

The HealthyLivestock community provides a broad base for the project.
It comprises people from academia and research institutes, industry and stakeholder organisations.

European Partners

EU partners in the HealthyLivestock consortium are based in 8 different countries. Research Institutes, companies and a professional organisation work together in front line research. After validation, research results will be communicated through a broad network of stakeholders: high level decision makers as well as people working with pigs and poultry on a daily basis

Consortium Leaders

HealthyLivestock is coordinated by Dr Hans Spoolder from the Wageningen University (NL).
The consortium is led by the EU-China core team consisting of
Prof YANG Shuming (IQSTAP)
Prof Bas KEMP (WUR)

Work package leaders

Decisions on a day-to-day basis are taken by the Work Package leadership. They consist of one European and one Chinese scientist, experienced in project management and an expert in the research area of the Work Package.

Scientific Advisory Board

The HealthyLivestock project will be supported by a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), consisting of five independent advisers. The SAB provides an external scientific point of view on how to execute the project and provide the best outcomes to the Chinese and European societies. It will advise the General Assembly of the project on where and how the most promising results should be exploited or presented. The advisers have different theoretical and practical back grounds, and are based in different parts of the world

Latest News

03 Nov 2020

Deep learning-based automated pig feeding behaviour detection for healthier livestock

Say goodbye to traditional pig tracking, extra sensors and individual marking. A fast and accurate 2D camera-based deep learning system automatically recognises pig feeding behaviour, making early detection of health and welfare problems possible.

02 Nov 2020

HealthyLivestock Related Websites and Projects

Please find here links to HealthyLivestock related websites and projects :

23 Oct 2020

Effects of on-farm and traditional hatching on welfare, health, and performance of broiler chickens

In on-farm hatching systems, eggs that have been incubated for 18 D are transported to the broiler farm. After hatching around day 21, the chicks have immediate access to feed and water

23 Oct 2020

ESVAC – Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 31 European countries in 2018

The latest ESVAC report, published in October 2020, shows that sales of antibiotics for use in animals in Europe fell by more than 34% between 2011 and 2018