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Sow Behaviour, Lameness Study Wins Pork Innovation Award

9 March 2015, at 11:00am

AUSTRALIA - This year’s Australian Pork Limited (APL) sponsored Science and Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry was won by Queensland researcher Tracey Muller.

The award was presented to her by Barnaby Joyce MP, Minister for Agriculture at a gala dinner held in conjunction with Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) Outlook Conference in Canberra.

Ms Muller’s research for this award focused on sow behaviour and welfare and the incidence of lameness in sow herds.

“Lameness is a common contributor to early culling in sow herds as foot health is influenced by many factors including pen environment, floor type, group housing and nutritional regime,” Ms Muller said.

Currently employed as a Research Associate by CHM Alliance Pty. Ltd., one of Australia’s largest pork producers, Ms Muller said “Her award grant of up to $22,000 will allow her to complete her PhD and further her focus on research around ‘Measured uptake of dietary supplemented, organic sourced zinc and manganese in the hair and hoof of growing gilts and its effect on hoof integrity'.

Ms Muller is no stranger to the pork industry and research is her passion, having previously worked in areas associated with the application of veterinary thermography for the detection of sow lameness, making her perfectly positioned to undertake further research in this particular area of sow management.

APL General Manager Research & Innovation Dr Darryl D’Souza said: “This award is a wonderful example of the innovation that young scientists can provide to enhance the future sustainability of agriculture and the pork industry in this particular case.”

For more information about applying for the 2016 Awards visit

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Improve feed efficiency and eliminate waste with the original, mechanical-flow, automatic feeder, with models available for pigs from wean to market.

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