Horsekeeping represents an opportunity for the agricultural sector: it contributes to sustainable rural development and offers an attractive source of income. Modern, animal-friendly housing systems and fittings, as developed and tested by Agroscope, are essential for this activity.
The proper understanding of horse behaviour can prevent considerable animal suffering as well as poor training outcomes and safety risks, thus strengthening the horsekeeping sector in agriculture. Agroscope researches equine behaviour, promotes the ethical, safe handling of horses, and supports successful horse use.
High expectations are placed on the modern dairy cow: she is meant to produce lots of milk of impeccable quality, utilise feed efficiently, have a low impact on the environment, and cope well with the consequences of climate change. To make her fit for these challenges, the impacts must be recognised at an early stage, and appropriate management and feeding measures developed.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious health threat requiring a One Health approach to combat it. This is because humans, food and animals constitute overlapping reservoirs of antimicrobial resistance. To limit the spread of AMR, antibiotics use, including in pig husbandry, should be dramatically reduced. Post-weaning diarrhoea is often preventively treated with antibiotics. Agroscope is working on non-antibiotic measures to reduce the occurrence of this diarrhoea.
In recent decades, the number of piglets born per litter has continuously risen. Ac-cordingly, supplying the sow with proteins and minerals to enable optimum provi-sion of these nutrients to her piglets has become a challenging business. Since more low-weight piglets are also expected per litter, their growth must be optimally supported by an appropriate supplementary feed.
To preserve the attractiveness of beekeeping in Switzerland – an activity that guarantees the pollination of both wild and cultivated plants – it is important to provide beekeepers with effective production tools. To ensure healthy honey-bee colonies and high-quality hive products, Agroscope is looking to develop and test solutions for maintaining the health of colonies threatened by diseases or agricultural practices.