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.

 

Pair housing makes calves more optimistic

Individual housing of dairy calves is common farm practice, but has negative effects on calf welfare. A compromise between practice and welfare may be housing calves in pairs. We compared learning performances and affective states as assessed in a judgement bias task of individually housed and pair-housed calves. Twenty-two calves from each housing treatment were trained on a spatial Go/No-go task with active trial initiation to discriminate between the location of a teat-bucket signalling either reward (positive location) or non-reward (negative location). We compared the number of trials to learn the operant task (OT) for the trial initiation and to finish the subsequent discrimination task (DT). Ten pair-housed and ten individually housed calves were then tested for their responses to ambiguous stimuli positioned in-between the positive and negative locations. Housing did not affect learning speed (OT: F1,34 = 0.42, P = 0.52; DT: F1,34 = 0.25, P = 0.62), but pair-housed calves responded more positively to ambiguous cues than individually housed calves (χ21 = 6.76, P = 0.009), indicating more positive affective states. This is the first study to demonstrate that pair housing improves the affective aspect of calf welfare when compared to individual housing.

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.

New approaches for the preservation of endangered livestock populations

Creating effective tools for selecting individuals into supported populations of genetic resources (GR)based on a combination of available genealogical information and molecular-genetic methods to increase efficiency of the National program for genetic resources to support implementation of the EU Common Agricultural Policy in the field of agro-biodiversity Development of methodology for the selection of individuals for the cryoprogram Description of optimal methodology for semen collection, cryopreseand its own insemination for selected animals’ species engaged into the genetic resource Developing a new method of qualitative evaluation of sperm Practical testing of the new procedure of interspecific ICSI and verification of its utilization

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