The British Society of Animal Science’s (BSAS) accreditation scheme for animal scientists, consultants and nutritionists will bring significant benefits to the UK livestock farming industry.
“The successful application of science has been responsible for the huge improvements in welfare and productivity across livestock farms,” comments BSAS Chief Executive, Maggie Mitchell. “With all the pressures on livestock farmers it has probably never been more important for producers to engage with, and have trust in, the science available. It can help them meet the challenges they face, like reduced antimicrobial use, increased requirements for animal welfare, environmental constraints and the drive for efficiency in a volatile global market.”
The BSAS works to improve the understanding of animal science and the ways it can help ensure food is produced ethically and economically. By sharing the latest in animal research, BSAS aims to enhance the welfare and productivity of farm animals to help produce quality, safe and environmentally-sustainable food.
“The BSAS Register of Accredited Animal Scientists and Animal Technologists, which currently has over 200 members, assures the knowledge, competency and integrity of people working in animal science and all its allied industries,” Maggie Mitchell continues. “It is open to professionals in the public sector, academia and commerce who work with animals and livestock. There are two categories of accreditation – one for those involved in carrying out research and one for those who apply the research”.
“To become accredited, members of the register must demonstrate they have the skills and expertise to be professionally recognised in their field. To maintain their accreditation, members must evidence their continued professional development (CPD) and learning to an independent panel of experts.
“Anyone working in academia or across the industry who offers expertise in animal science, animal technology or animal care should apply. We hope the scheme will become the standard and be seen as the measure of professionalism. It complements the existing Feed Adviser Register (FAR) scheme but goes much further and will bring huge benefits.
“For individuals it demonstrates passion, commitment and a drive for continued self-improvement. No person should be teaching, researching or advising unless accredited to do so.
“For employers there will be benefits in being able to demonstrate that their staff are accredited and that as a business they are committed to providing the highest quality service based on the latest science. In time this will help to grow business as farmers only take advice from people who are accredited. They will know their staff have a commitment to keep up to date with the latest science and ensure they can deliver the best advice to customers.
“Furthermore, we believe that the accreditation programme will help improve the amount and quality of research that can be undertaken in the UK and attract increased funding.
“We believe there is a moral obligation on the community researching, teaching and advising on animal husbandry to ensure everyone is demonstrably suitably proficient to be doing the work they do. By so doing it will help develop a more sustainable livestock agriculture and reinforce the UK’s position at the forefront of high welfare and efficient animal production systems.”