Library & Resources

Research Reports

Dietary Requirements

Several studies, involving the use of bitter compounds in the diet, gastrointestinal hormones, feed additives and pharmaceutical agents, are being conducted to determine whether these strategies can influence insulin sensitivity, reduce rate of gastric emptying and reduce appetite to suppress voluntary feed intake of finisher pigs, and improve growth performance and body composition.

2011/1034.437 – Lysine Requirement Titration in Finisher Pigs

The amino acid and lysine requirements in the diets of female pigs from 60 to 100 kg liveweight to optimise growth performance and carcase quality are being investigated.
Final report due: September 2013

2011/1034.440 – The role of the dietary omega-6:omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ratio on the performance of grower/finisher pigs

Feeding growing pigs diets with high omega 6:omega 3 PUFA rations can impact on growth performance and animal health. This project aims to fill nutritional knowledge and data gaps to enable recommendations on the appropriate dietary ratios for growing pigs to be provided to pig nutritionists.
Final report due: October 2014



2012/1033.493 – Using specific functional dietary fibre sources to increase the number of piglets weaned per sow per litter

This study is investigating whether the inclusion of functional dietary fibre in diets of late gestating sows reduces farrowing duration and results in increases in numbers of pigs born alive, feed intake and milk production of sows in lactation, increased milk intake and growth rate of piglets.
Final report due: October 2013

2012/1033.496 – Specific carbohydrate formulation in late lactation diets for primiparous sows to enhance early antral follicle development, oocyte quality and postweaning fertility

This project aims to formulate late lactation diets with specific carbohydrate ingredients to enhance insulin secretion in the sow. It is anticipated that this will improve quality and selection of early antral follicles during late lactation and, as a consequence, improve post-weaning fertility of primiparous sows.
Final report due: February 2014

2012/1024 – Defining the role of mitochondrial DNA in pig fertility

This project aims to identify breeding dam lines with a high propensity for embryonic development resulting in larger litter sizes. This will allow breeders to selectively breed from these lines, which will be easily identifiable through genetic screening.
Final report due: September 2014

2012/2433 – Pigs in Space II

Well trained and motivated stockpeople are crucial to the efficiency of the breeding operation. Staff turnover on piggeries is high and there is a necessity to develop training that is easily accessible to all piggery staff. This project will develop three on-line units of competency including: Rear newborn and young livestock. Prepare animals for parturition, and Mate pigs and monitor dry sow performance.
Final report due: February 2014

2012/2434 – Maternal creatine monohydrate supplementation: a novel strategy to buffer the neonate against hypoxia and reduce preweaning mortality

Creatine monohydrate is used with some success in other species to buffer neonates against the effects of oxygen deprivation during birth. This project is examining whether maternal creatine supplementation during the last week of gestation can reduce the incidence of pre-weaning mortality by protecting the piglet from the negative impacts of intra-partum hypoxia.
Final report due: November 2014

2012/2435 – Improvement of sow longevity through identification of early lifetime performance indicators, including the assessment of gonadatrophin response as a suitable selection tool for replacement gilts

The combination of high replacement rates and the premature loss of lower parity sows are of great concern to industry, especially in terms of economic feasibility. This project aims to develop novel selection methods or technologies to provide producers with a means of selecting gilts for suitability as breeding sows.
Final report due: June 2016

2012/2436 – Association between gilt structural conformation and implications for lifetime productivity of sows

Lameness, especially from group housed sows, is a major contributor to the premature removal of sows from the Australian herd. This project is investigating the anatomical features of replacement gilts that lead to culling, and will develop guidelines for selection of replacement gilts that enhance lifetime productivity of sows and reduces sow wastage.
Final report due: January 2016


Biosecurity and Food Safety

2011/1012.345 – A risk assessment and simulation modelling framework for exotic disease prioritisation in the Australian pig industry

Risks and consequences to the Australian pig industry of an exotic disease outbreak is being examined in this study to assist with prioritising future surveillance as well as to develop protocols to deal with an exotic disease outbreak.
Final report due: January 2014

2011/1039.400 – FMD Vulnerabilities Project

This project is facilitating a group of activities to better prepare Australian livestock industries for an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Completion of these activities will enable Australia to optimise its joint industry/government investment in the FMD antigen bank held in the UK.
Final report due: June 2016

2011/1017.401 – Establishing the risk of Toxoplasmosis associated with the consumption of pork and pork products

Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, and is a pathogen of increasing public health concern. Pork, sheep and goat meat may be contaminated with Toxoplasma gondii. This project is focused on establishing reliable capacity in molecular typing of porcine Toxoplasma gondii and is gathering information to improve tools used to deal with the risk to public health and markets associated with toxoplasmosis.
Final report due: January 2014

2011/1017.402 – Establishing the risk of Salmonellosis associated with the consumption of pork and pork products

This project is investigating the industry’s capacity to positively diagnose outbreaks of Salmonella Typhimurium arising from the consumption of pork and pork products with aims of developing appropriate responses and intervention strategies to minimise the risk to public health.
Final report due: October 2015



2011/1018.347 – Developing qualitative behavioural assessment as an objective measure of pig welfare

A robust quantitative method to measure pig welfare on farm to assist with improving any negative management practices impacting on welfare is being developed in this project. This project aims to develop a set of tools to allow producers and consultants to measure welfare by observing pig behaviour, quantify changes in behavioural expression during the first few weeks post-weaning and identify how different pre-weaning systems influence behavioural expression in weaner pigs.
Final report due: June 2014

2011/1018.350 – Assessment and alleviation of adverse stimuli in pigs

This study aims to provide producers and stock-people with objective tools to be able to reliably determine and alleviate pain and suffering in pigs by improving their detection of ill, suffering and heat stressed pigs.
Final report due: February 2014

2012/0026 – Development of Public Attitude Monitoring Scheme (Monitoring Public Attitudes to Inform Animal Welfare Policy Development)

This project is investigating the relationship between attitudes and community behaviour and will assist in development of community education and awareness activities to demonstrate the importance of animal welfare.
Final report due: January 2014



2012/1029 – Sludge Handling and Management

Desludging effluent ponds is difficult, particularly for covered, lined ponds. Agitators and excavators can’t be used due to its moisture content and physical properties. This project is investigating techniques to improve the handling properties of the sludge.
Final report due: September 2013

2013/032 – Upgrade and Development of Environmental Management Plans (EMP’s) for Conventional and Outdoor Production Systems

This project aims to upgrade the template for indoor piggeries and develop a template for rotational outdoor piggeries to support producers developing new, changed or expanded systems. This will allow producers to demonstrate that their piggery operation is operating sustainably, with consideration for the potential environmental impacts.
Final report due: June 2014

2011/1015.409 – Free Range Outdoor Piggery Production

This study is gathering long term (5 year) information on the environmental impacts of free range outdoor pig production to develop clear management plans for best practice sustainable outdoor pig farming.
Final report due: June 2016

2011/2323 – CCRSPI (Climate Change Research Strategy for Primary Industries)

This is a collaborative joint venture between primary industry research development corporations addressing climate change in primary industries by determining a strategy and potential areas for cross sectoral research projects.
End date: January 2016

2012/1028 – Manure and Effluent Guidelines

This project is investigating effluent and manure management and reuse to assist producers to implement better management practices. Guidelines will be produced for management with case studies as well as a separate glove-box guide providing rules of thumb, examples and templates for those making daily effluent and manure reuse decisions.
Final report due: October 2013

2013/031 – Demonstrations of How to Achieve Best Management Practices – Environmental Management

This project aims to gather and disseminate practical information on Best Management Practices for environmental sustainability to industry. The project will provide practical information that facilitates rapid uptake of information and BMP technologies by many industry participants.
Final report due: June 2014

Energy Usage

2012/2407 – Establishing energy usage on Australian piggeries to enable implementation of energy reduction strategies

This project is profiling energy usage and identifying energy hotspots across a range of Australian piggeries. Information on practical measures to reduce their energy usage to empower pork producers will be disseminated to allow them to make informed decisions about energy use, management and efficiency measures.
Final report due: April 2014


2010/1015.332 – Development of microbial indicators of soil quality to quantify the benefits and risks associated with applying piggery by-products to land

A suite of soil indicators, including microbial and conventional monitoring tools, is being developed that can be used to assess and quantify the benefits and risks of applying different piggery by-products to land.
Final report due: May 2014

2011/1011.416 – Tracking nutrients in outdoor piggery systems
The long-term environmental impacts of soil nutrient levels and nutrient distribution in outdoor piggery systems are being investigated to identify possible strategies to better manage nutrients on outdoor piggeries.
Final report due: June 2014


Technology Transfer and Adoption

2011/2211 – Update of the Birth to Bacon ‘Weaning to Sale’ Manual
The Birth to Bacon kit is a highly useful industry resource even though it is almost 20 years old. This project is being conducted to update two manuals contained in the Weaning to Sale kit: Weaning to Sale and Producers’ Guide to Pig Nutrition. The update will include new research outcomes and industry best practice as it relates to nutrition and weaner-grower-finisher management.
Expected completion date: November 2013

2011/2223 – Bi-annual Meeting of the NSW/Victorian Pig Industry Liaison Group
This Group provides input into State government policies on biosecurity, traceability, quality assurance, welfare and environment relevant to the pig industry. The Group also discuss how emerging diseases could reduce productivity, food safety, profitability and impact on public health, and develop methods to control and prevent outbreak of endemic and exotic disease. Outcomes of project activities and recommendations will be provided to APL.
Final report due: November 2013

2011/2204 – National Welfare R, D & E Capacity Building Project
This project aims to build capacity and foster links between University of Melbourne, Animal Welfare Science Centre (as a research provider under the National R, D & E strategy) and the Australian egg, poultry and pork industries, and support Dr Jean-Loup Rault in providing research and development leadership.
Final report due: December 2014

2011/2321 – Australian Rural Leadership Program
APL sponsors pork industry participants in Course 20 of the Australian Rural Leadership Program (ARLP), rural Australia’s leadership development program to produce a network of informed, capable and ethical leaders able to work collaboratively to advance the interests of their industries, businesses, communities and rural Australia in general. The program is one of APL’s key leadership development activities.
Final report due: September 2014

2012/2417 – Membership of Primary Industries Education Foundation
The Primary Industries Education Foundation (PIEF) is a new teacher focused, cross-industry approach to working with schools, aimed at building capability in the primary industries sector and improving community understanding. PIEF and APL are developing resources aligned to the curriculum for inclusion in school classrooms to improve awareness and interest in the Australian pork industry.
Final report due: August 2015

2013/2127 – Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) coordinates an annual awards program supported by the Rural RDCs recognising scientists aged 18–35 years working or studying in rural industries. Winners undertake projects of industry significance and sponsorship providing the pork industry with exposure in a wider agricultural forum.
Final report due: March 2014

2012/2432 – Adoption Case Study Videos & PPPE 2014 Presentation Recordings
This project collects and disseminates information on new technologies through the creation of adoption case studies videos made readily accessible on relevant websites. The project aims to measures the number of video views and uptake by stakeholders to guide future uptake of new technologies.
Final report due: June 2014

2013/047 – Adapting ADOPT for the Pork Industry
This project is investigating the development of a reliable tool to assess adoption potential across the broad range of APL R, D&E activities. The project is evaluating the ADOPT tool, developed by CSIRO, to assist in predicting the likely level of adoption of specific technologies by pork producers and key factors that may influence their adoption.
Final report due: June 2014

2013/051 – Measuring Effectiveness of APL Capability Building Activities
This project is identifying the critical factors, including activities and investments, required to improve the standing of the pork industry as a career option for students. This project will assist in targeting future investments and improve the return on investment for industry resources.
Final report due: June 2014

2013/052 – Measuring Effectiveness of APL Technology Transfer & Adoption Activities Using Web Based Solutions
This project is developing extension methodologies, which are accessible and cost effective to the majority of producers, to encourage their adoption of research outcomes. This project is also evaluating the effectiveness of web-based delivery of extension material in the form of webinars and podcasts.
Final report due: June 2014


Current Travel Awards

2011/2316 – Ron Collins Memorial Travel Award Recipient – Greg Mills: ‘Increasing Awareness of a Social License to Operate’
This Travel Award supports overseas travel to the successful recipient in the Australian pork industry to further investigate a topic of benefit to the industry. Recipient Greg Mills used the grant to travel to the United States to attend the Food Integrity Summit, spend time with the Center for Food Integrity in Missouri and visit pork producers involved in the “FarmersFeedUs” initiative to gain producer insight into the development of a social licence. Greg is currently disseminating the outcomes of his trip to the Australian pork industry at various industry events.
Predicted end date: 21st May 2014

Other Travel Awards:

  • Eugene McGahan to attend Greenhouse gases and Animal agriculture conference – 2013, Dublin
  • Frank Dunshea to attend the 2013 (ASAS) annual scientific meeting and awarded 2013 ASAS Animal Feed Industry award for non-ruminant nutrition
  • Mitchell Groves to attend 3rd ASM/ESCMID Conference on Methicillin-resistant Staphylococci in Animals in Copenhagen, November 4-7 2013
  • Edwina Beveridge and Laurie Brosnan to attend ‘Facing the Challenges in the Grower Herd – Where will you be in 2020?’ program in 2013


Distinguished Visitor Awards

2014/004 – Dr Morgan Morrow Travel Application
This project will support Dr Morgan Morrow to travel to Australia from the USA in 2014. Morgan will make presentations on humane euthanasia of pigs, with a focus on gas euthanasia, at three producer targeted workshops across Australia including Bendigo (VIC), Adelaide (SA) and Perth (WA) and at the 2014 Pans Pacific Pork Expo in Broadbeach, QLD.
Final report due: May 2014


Current Postgraduate Research Scholarships

  • Optimising production of male pigs immunised against GnRF
  • Effects of high level vitamin E, selenium and their combination on growth performance and antioxidant status of growing pigs under hyperthermia
  • Social strategies of sows in groups
  • Metrics to benchmark stock handling
  • Exotic disease prioritisation
  • Qualitative behavioural assessment
  • Alleviation of adverse stimuli in pigs
  • Establish a process model to estimate the risk of Salmonellosis from consuming pork and pork products
  • Investigate the molecular epidemiology and public health significance of Salmonella in pigs and pork.


Current Honours Award Research Scholarships

  • Understanding the role of lipids during the acquisition of oocyte quality.