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PIC Opens New AI Research Centre

25 January 2012, at 9:18am

UK - Pig breeding company PIC opened a gene technology research centre in the UK on Tuesday – believed to be the first of its type in the UK and probably in Europe.

The centre at the Colworth Science Park in Sharnbrook, Bedforshire, is carrying out research and development on pig semen for artificial insemination.

The work is designed to help develop strong boar lines and eliminate weaker lines to improve production on farms across the UK.

PIC UK general manager, Sue Corning, and Tulip agriculture director, Andrew Saunders, at the opening of the new PIC GT Centre of Excellence.

The centre provides a link between PIC, commercial producers and the research and development on artificial insemination, ensuring that the trials take account of commercial needs.

The centre that is equipped with the latest technology for swift analysis of semen samples is also being used tom provide training for UK pig producers, who buy semen from boar studs and those who collect semen from boars at on-farm studs.

The centre was officially opened by agriculture director at Tulip UK, Andrew Saunders.

He said that the work at the centre will bring benefits across the supply chain and allow some customers to see more consistent and bespoke pig products.

"Pig production today faces many challenges and opportunities," he said.

"This significant investment by PIC will help pig producers to exploit new technology quickly and efficiently."

Sue Corning, PIC UK general manager, said that the centre will help the commercial side of the industry change more quickly and allow producers the opportunity for a wider range of products using AI.

"This centre is just one part of our current investment programme. We are investing in new equipment at UK boar studs and we are updating our dedicated transport fleet," she said.

"PIC is confident the UK pig industry has a good future, with AI being a key element in helping to improve production efficiency and supporting the overall objective of retaining competitiveness."

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