Sizable Government Grants Awarded to CityU Veterinary College to Improve Local Livestock and Fish Health

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The Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences at City University of Hong Kong has been successful in its bidding for two grants from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) of the Hong Kong government, and has recently been awarded a total of nearly HK$35 million.

The Sustainable Agricultural Development Fund (SADF) has awarded HK$15 million towards ‘Improving Pig Health and Production in Hong Kong’ and HK$14.96 million towards ‘Improving Poultry Health and Production in Hong Kong’. These two projects are led by Prof. Dirk Pfeiffer (Chair Professor of One Health & Director of the Centre for Applied One Health Research and Policy Advice) and aim to facilitate the development of modern and sustainable pig and poultry production through which to enhance the overall competitiveness of the local meat producing industry. The projects seek to identify the major constraints on pig and poultry health and production in Hong Kong and to develop interventions that will result in improved productivity, animal welfare, food safety and monitoring for early warning of new and emerging zoonotic diseases. Based on the needs of individual farms, a tailored pig/poultry health and production management service programme will be provided.

A further HK$4.94 million has been awarded by the Sustainable Fisheries Development Fund (SFDF) towards ‘Improving Fish Health and Production in Hong Kong’. This project, led by Prof. Sophie St‑Hilaire (Professor of Aquatic Animal Health), involves the provision of veterinary training and services, as well as research and promotion in relation to common fish diseases and their treatment. It will help the local fishing community to move towards high value-added operations.

The College will employ dedicated veterinarians who will work closely with the 43 pig and 28 poultry farmers in Hong Kong, and assist to reduce production losses, and thereby improve profitability, while reducing the risk of infectious diseases spread and the need for usage of antimicrobials.