University collaborates with Zoetis to improve feed efficiency in pig farming

12 Jan 2015 10:27:37.967
The University of Nottingham has secured funding from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) to undertake a four-year project with Zoetis, the leading global animal health company, with the aim of improving feed efficiency in pig farming.
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Improving the health of pig herds

This new project builds on an ongoing partnership between The University of Nottingham and Zoetis and will focus on studies to help maximize muscle growth and improve the health of pig herds on farms.  Funding for the research initiative will be in excess of £800k, including the contribution from Zoetis.

John Brameld, Associate Professor in Nutritional Biochemistry at The University of Nottingham and principal investigator, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with Zoetis on such a significant research project which could potentially help to benefit farmers across the globe.

“Improving feed efficiency in farm animals such as pigs is becoming increasingly important in order to ensure their healthy growth and development, and also to help provide an increasing supply of high quality meat that the world’s expanding population requires.”

Bringing together expertise
The project will bring together the muscle growth and metabolism expertise of Dr. Tim Parr and Dr. John Brameld, both from the University’s School of Biosciences , the pig muscle cell culture specialisms of Dr. Paul Loughna in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and the whole body physiology skills of Professor Fran Ebling in the School of Life Sciences.

It is also anticipated that staff from The University of Nottingham and Zoetis will spend time working within each other’s laboratories, increasing opportunities for the exchange of knowledge, technology and expertise.

Douglas Harris, Senior Principal Scientist in Global Therapeutics Research for Zoetis, added: “This agreement gives us the opportunity to continue to build upon and strengthen the swine enhanced performance research partnership we’ve had with the exceptional staff at the University of Nottingham.

Scientific advances
"We’re excited about the scientific advances that could arise from the exchange of talent between our organisations and the contributions we can collectively make towards improving global food security.”

Pork is the world’s most widely consumed meat. Over 110 million metric tons of pork is eaten annually, accounting for almost 40% of the world’s meat consumption. With the world’s population forecast to grow by a further 2 billion people by 2050, and the associated increase in the world demand for meat, improving the efficiency of animal growth is becoming ever more important globally.

For more details about The University of Nottingham’s work with businesses, please visit or contact Dr. Adrian Hill in the Corporate Partnerships team , on +44(0115) 74 84358 or email

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers, in the top 10 for student experience according to the Times Higher Education and winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the THE Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top one per cent of universities by the QS World University Rankings, and 8th in the UK by research power according to REF 2014.

The University of Nottingham in Malaysia (UNMC) is holding events throughout 2015 to celebrate 15 years as a pioneer of transnational education. Based in Semenyih, UMNC was established as the UK's first overseas campus in Malaysia and one of the first world-wide.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2013, the company generated annual revenues of $4.6 billion. With approximately 9,800 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2014, Zoetis has a local presence in approximately 70 countries, including 27 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries. Its products serve veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals in 120 countries. For more information, visit

Story credits

For more details about the University's work with Zoetis, contact Dr. Adrian Hill, Senior Executive in the University's Corporate Partnerships Team on +44(0)115 74 84358
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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