What is animal science?
Animal Science relates to the science and business of producing domestic livestock species, including but not limited to beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry, pigs, sheep and horses. In recent years, Animal Science has expanded into a far broader area to include companion animals, wildlife and zoo animals to help improve their health, nutrition, care, and welfare.
Research and technology is revolutionizing animal production. Animal scientists constantly strive to improve and increase the efficiency of livestock production and management techniques through research into areas such as animal behaviour and welfare, genetics/breeding, microbiology, nutrition, physiology and reproduction.
They also play a key role in maintaining and improving the quality and quantity of the world's food supply.
Why is animal science important?
Securing world food supplies is more important than ever before.
Global populations are expected to hit 8bn by 2050, meaning food production has to be looked at seriously if people are going to have healthy, nutritious diets.
Productive farmland is coming under threat due to climate change and the need to house more people, while the planet’s resources are diminishing, meaning farmers have to find new ways to produce food.
At the same time, livestock are becoming an increasingly important source of nutrition around the world, with demand for meat products predicted to double in the first half of this century.
The Society has a vital role in advising policy-makers on meeting the challenge of securing food supplies while impacting less on the environment.
As one of the world's fastest growing food sectors, approximately 50% of all seafood produced for human consumption comes from Aquaculture - the controlled process of cultivating aquatic organisms (shellfish, molluscs, finfish) and plants.
Aquaculture not only produces food and other commercial products, it also restores habitats and replenishes wild stocks, and rebuild populations of threatened and endangered species.
Harvesting wild sources of fish, crustaceans and other aquatic species cannot keep up with the demand presented by a growing human population.
We need alternate sources for seafood to feed the planet’s ever-growing population in a responsible and sustainable way to provide future generations with access to healthy and environmentally friendly protein options.
Sustainable aquaculture helps meet this demand while relieving the strain on wild species to allow them to continue to be a significant source.
The equine industry is more varied than almost any other sector either within agriculture or in the wider leisure industry and generates huge amounts of revenue for some of the world’s major economies.
According to Equine Business Association (EBA), the U.S. and U.K are the biggest equine industries in the world, with the economic value of the UK equestrian sector alone standing at £4.3 billion of consumer spending across a wide range of goods and services each year.
Considered as sport, companion and working animals, the growth in the utilisation of horses means increased research to improve equine health, disease, welfare and management practices has never been more significant.
Companion and Zoo Animals
Most of us at some point in our lives have owned a pet such as a dog, cat, rabbit, fish or rodent.
The pet market in the United Kingdom is one of the largest in Europe, with the total pet population in the UK alone reaching approximately 58 million animals in 2018. Of those, 9 million are dogs and 8 million are cats.
Society's growing love for their furry companions hasn't been without concerns from companion animal specialists. Increased demand for cute animals has led to a rise in brachycephalic animals as a result of selective breeding, giving way to a host of welfare and health concerns, as well as irresponsible breeding
The alarming rise in pet obesity has see in the UK alone, an estimated 40% of dogs and 53% of cats reported as overweight or obese - leading to health issues such as arthritis and reduced life expectancy.
The British Society of Animal Science can make a significant contribution to all of these areas by sharing discoveries in research and techniques and by providing practical knowledge to industry and the public about the latest developments in these sectors.
Who can join BSAS?
The British Society of Animal Science is open to people with an interest in any aspect of animal science.
Current BSAS members include those working in animal genetics, nutrition, breeding, welfare, the environment, meat quality and animal products.
Members are drawn from research institutes, universities, colleges, advisors, consultants, farmers and the food production industry.
Why should I become a member of BSAS?
Membership of the British Society of Animal Science gives you access to the latest livestock science from across the world.
As well as an online resource of world-leading research, members are automatically subscribed to Animal, a monthly journal detailing the most recent developments in animal science.
Membership also entitles you to discounts at leading industry conferences, including BSAS’ annual conference and you can register for email newsletters to keep you up-to-date in the world of animal science.
The Society also brings you news of the latest job and research opportunities, while its team of industry experts and academics offers support and advice to members where it is needed.