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Welcome to Website of Institute of Animal Science!

Institute of Animal Science (IAS) Prague – Uhříněves is a public research institution founded by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic.

Since its foundation in 1951, the Institute has been a centre of research into biological and bio-technological basis of animal science.

IAS carries out basic and applied research focusing on innovation and the practical use of knowledge in animal science. Eight research departments perform research in the fields of animal genetics and breeding, bio-technology and reproduction, nutrition, quality of products, animal ethology and welfare, breeding technology, herd management and production economy.

In addition to basic and applied research, IAS carries out other expert activities. One of the most significant is the implementation of the National Programme for Conservation and Utilization of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. In 2016, the IAS was appointed as the National Centre for Genetic Resources to coordinate and implement the National Programme, along with many stakeholders. The Institute has also provided for the activity of the Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition and was entrusted by the Ministry of Agriculture to represent the Czech Republic in the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP). IAS provides professional training on classification of swine and cattle carcasses according to SEUROP, under a contract with the Ministry of Agriculture.

 

Assessment of lying down behaviour in temporarily crated lactating sows

Temporary crating may be a more acceptable housing systemfor lactating sows than permanent crating from an animal welfare point of view. It remains unclear whether opening the crate leads to changes in sow lying down behaviour and piglet activity that may pose an increased risk of injury to piglets. This study aimed to assess whether the lying down behaviour of lactating sows housed in temporary crating changed shortly after removal of confinement, whether it was influenced by piglets’ behaviour and age and whether sows preferentially used some support during lying down after crate opening. Sows (n = 13) were crated from 5 days pre partum to 3 days post partum. Their behaviours were recorded on video over a 24-h period both preceding and following crate opening, aswell as over a 24-h period on day 25. The following behaviours were analysed: position and activity of the piglets when the sow lie down, duration of the lying down events, use of pen walls or crate bars as support when lying down; and position of the sow in the pen when lying down. Piglet mortality was assessed every day. Data were analysed in SAS using GLM. The duration of lying down events did not differ between the 24-h periods before and after opening the crate but increased on day 25 (P < 0.01). Similarly, the percentage of piglets in the danger zone did not differ between the 24-h periods before and after opening the crate, but increased on day 25 (P < 0.0001). The percentage of piglets in the creep area increased temporarily the day after the crate opening (P < 0.0001). Sows frequently utilised support when lying down, but less over the 24-h period after the crate opening compared to the two other periods (P < 0.001). A higher percentage of piglets in the creep area resulted in longer lying down events where the sow's snoutwas in contact with piglets located in the creep area.

Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition                                                                                                                       

The Scientific Committee for Animal Nutrition was established in 2002 as an advisory body of the food safety coordination group. Its main task is to prepare scientific studies, offer expert views, and prepare proposals for measures ensuring safety throughout the entire chain of food and feed production.

CURRENT PROJECTS

Verification of genomic procedures in small populations

Animal breeding is based on the continuous development of individual breeds and their adaptation to changing environmental conditions. For genetic evaluation of animals, huge national databases of performance testing and pedigree datasets are used. Computations, where many model equations are involved is processed by methods BLUP and REML. Currently, SNP markers from DNA chips are also included. The project is focus on Czech cooperation with University of Georgia (USA). Aim of project is to developed and tested algorithms and programs for genomic data editing, construction of genomic relationshipmatrix and verification of genomic procedures in small populations (including impact of export animal, crossbreeds and overlapping populations).

The fattening of entire male boars as an economically and ethically acceptable option to resolve the ban or restriction on surgical castration

The aim of the project is to offer pig breeders the practical possibilities of mitigating or eliminating the operational and economic impacts of the restriction and prohibition of surgical castration of the piglets and introducing to farmers validated alternatives to the production of pancakes corresponding to the current trend in a number of European Union countries. The project should provide the user with the knowledge, facts and methodologies leading to a successful adaptation to the changing conditions of the European pigmeat market related to restrictions in the field of surgical castration of the male piglets.

PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES

SERVICES AND APPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICAL USE

EXPERT REPORTS

Preparation of analyses, studies and research on individual demand

CONTRACT RESEARCH

Contract research following the partners’ assignment

SEUROP

Training courses for cattle and pig carcass classifiers.

ECONOMIC ANALYSES

ECOWEIGHT, FarmProfit, Forecasting the Structure of Dairy Cattle Herd, Forecasting the structure of dairy cattle herd

CONSULTANCY

Active consultancy for the breeders of dairy cattle, beef cattle, goats and sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits, horses and cervids.

EXPERT SEMINARS

Invited lectures for breeders, students and agricultural business staff on specific topics