About Agroscope and the Research Division Animal Production Systems and Animal Health
Agroscope is the Swiss centre of excellence for agricultural research, and is affiliated with the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG). Agroscope makes an important contribution to a sustainable agriculture and food sector as well as to an intact environment, thereby contributing to an improved quality of life. Agroscope researches along the entire value chain of the agriculture and the food sector. Its goals are a competitive and multifunctional agricultural sector, high-quality food for a healthy diet, and an intact environment.
The Research Division Animal Production Systems and Animal Health is one of the seven research divisions of Agroscope. We conduct research in forage production and grassland utilization, milk and meat production, horse and bee keeping, and on topics ranging from animal feed to foods of animal origin.
The most important research themes of our research division are:
Ruminants: Milk and beef are two of the most important production branches of Swiss agriculture. Agroscope helps to ensure that ruminants are fed in accordance with their requirements and that Swiss natural resources are utilised efficiently.
Pigs: The feeding and health of sows, piglets and fattening pigs are elements crucial to economic success in pork production and they also guarantee a premium quality product – pork – for the Swiss consumer.
Horses: The researchers of the National Swiss Stud Farm (ethologists, veterinarians, agronomists etc.) carry out numerous projects in animal welfare and behaviour, disease prevention, reproduction and genetics.
Bees: The Agroscope Centre for Bee Research advocates to ensure that sufficient bees are available throughout Switzerland for pollination in future project.
Feed: Products used to feed livestock influence the quality of foods of animal origin such as milk, meat, eggs and honey. The official feed inspection of Agroscope is in charge of controlling and authorizing new products to be used in animal feeding. The aim of these controls is to prevent toxic or otherwise noxious substances from being present in animal feeds.
Farm-Animal Welfare: Everyone who drinks milk and eats meat wants reassurance that farm animals are housed according to their needs. At Agroscope, housing systems for ruminants and pigs are tested in terms of animal welfare.
Management of permanent Grassland and Grazing Systems: Grassland is the basis of sustainable milk and meat production. Grass based diets, particularly pastures, have both economic and ecological advantages.
Agroscope makes an important contribution towards a sustainable agri-food sector and an intact environment, and hence towards an improved quality of life.
Agroscope in the Animal Task Force
Agroscope represents the Swiss knowledge institutes in the ATF. Research at Agroscope encompasses all activities whose aim is the sustainable and competitive production of milk, meat and bee products as the basis of healthy, safe, high-quality foodstuffs and supplements. Agroscope also provides support for sustainable horse-breeding and -keeping, as well as researching animal welfare issues in ruminant and pig husbandry.
Dr. Hans Dieter Hess
Federal Department of Economic Affairs,
Education and Research
P.O. Box 64