The British Society of Animal Science (BSAS) works to ensure the practical, beneficial application of research and this prize recognises the important impact of research to industry.

Elisa Arnaud, a PhD student at South East Technological University (SETU) and Teagasc, Pig Development Department, Moorepark, was recently awarded the BSAS Industry Prize at the BSAS 2022 Annual Conference in Nottingham, UK.

The BSAS is a charity that works to improve the understanding of all aspects of animal science and to ensure research and knowledge transfer has a practical and beneficial application. The BSAS Industry prize is presented each year to an early career animal scientist BSAS member for the impact of their research to industry, including aspects, such as return on investment or feasibility of introducing new concepts that have been derived from their work.

Nutritional strategies to improve growth in pigs

Elisa, who is supervised by Prof Gillian Gardiner (Principle Investigator in the Eco-Innovation Research Centre and Lecturer in the School of Science and Computing, SETU Waterford), and Dr Peadar Lawlor (Principle Research Officer in the Pig Development Department at Teagasc Moorepark), was one of just five finalists asked to present her research at the event. The title of Elisa’s presentation was ‘Post-partum analgesia administration to sows, but not split-suckling, increased growth and reduced medication usage in piglets’.

Elisa’s PhD research is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine’s competitive research funding programmes and focuses on evaluating management and nutritional strategies to improve growth and limit antimicrobial usage in pigs, pre-and post-weaning. As a part of her project, Elisa conducted an experiment to investigate the effects of split-suckling, with or without post-partum administration of analgesia to sows, on piglet growth, as well as antibiotic and anti-inflammatory usage. Her research found that analgesia administration to sows after farrowing is a simple, cost-beneficial intervention which significantly reduces medication usage and improves lifetime growth in pigs.

Positively impact pig production

Speaking of her joy at being awarded this prize Elisa said, “I applied for the industry prize to challenge my work and demonstrate my ability to transfer academic research into practical advice which can positively impact commercial pig production. I am delighted and honoured to have received this award. It is a great achievement in my PhD journey.”

Prior to conducting her PhD, Elisa graduated as an Engineer in Animal Production from the French Higher Education Institute, Agrocampus Ouest, and worked for two years as a product manager for a feed additive company. Going forward, Elisa would like to work within the animal production industry and hopes that winning the BSAS Industry prize will bring new opportunities for the future.