On the 15th of September a virtual kick-off meeting took place to officially start the project “Enlighted Pigs: integrating light with animal-friendly and sustainable farming”
The Enlighted Pigs project aims to:
i) increase fundamental knowledge on the impact of light on pigs, and
ii) develop adaptive light concepts to contribute to sustainable pig production.
Up till now, artificial light has been largely ignored in the search for sustainable pig production systems. Light, however, has a large influence on animal productivity and welfare, although knowledge, especially on animal welfare, is limited. Furthermore, new developments in the field of light sources and technology have great potential to be of large value in pig production.
The focus of this project is on light factors that are most beneficial for pig welfare, environment and profitability; such as light intensity and colour spectrum. The project is expected to provide an innovative light concept for the pig industry with controlled and tuneable lighting, which easily integrates with standard monitoring systems and contributes to a more sustainable production of pork.
The project is funded by NWO within the programme ‘Smart solutions for horti- and agriculture’ and is led by dr. Eddie Bokkers of the Animal Production Systems group of Wageningen University & Research (WUR). The project consortium combines leading companies and institutes with an array of expertise, to develop a sustainable and innovative light concept for the pig industry. The Animal Production Systems group of WUR has expertise on animal welfare and sustainable animal production, Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) contributes test systems and knowledge related to smart sensors and light systems, and De Hoeve Innovatie provides the test location and contributes expertise on the pork production chain. In addition, scientific and industrial advisors add their valuable expertise, with members from Westfort Meat Products (meat quality), Amsterdam UMC (chronobiology, endocrinology and metabolism) and Wageningen Livestock Research (pig environment and technology). This collaboration provides a strong foundation for fundamental research that can be applied in practice.
The consortium members are highly motivated to collaborate and contribute to this research and are looking forward to the first results.