Modern animal husbandry faces with plural challenges. The ‘Food and Agriculture Organization’ (FAO) of the United Nations has formulated the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) and the Dutch government strives to the implementation of a circular agricultural system. Similarly different societal organizations put effort in the protection of a high animal welfare of our (domestic) animals and the reduction of test animal usage in scientific research, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) campaign against the loss of biodiversity and zoo parcs play an important role in the conservation of endangered species. The common goal is a sustainable life with our animals. In the Minor Program ‘Sustainable Animal Science’ the foundation for animal scientific professionals with a distinctive profile in a sustainable animal husbandry is formed.
Within a sustainable animal husbandry it is essential that animal health and welfare are secured. Animal scientific professionals must have profound knowledge of the physiological processes that are at the base of a good health and welfare of our animals. An integral approach of (preventive) animal health, animal nutrition, housing and natural behaviour of the animal herein is essential. Furthermore the animal, according to the ‘one health’ principal, is placed in context with a good public health and a healthy environment, in order to realize a sustainable animal husbandry in the Netherlands and the world.
Innovations in the animal sector contribute to the reduction of a negative impact on the (intensive) animal husbandry, of which the development of antimicrobial resistance as a result of antibiotic usage, the constant threat of plural zoonotic diseases and the emission of CO2 and nitrogen gasses, are relevant examples. Many companies in the animal sector act as an initiator of valuable innovations and herein they are continuously searching for cooperation with professionals with an animal scientific background, who cherish a sustainable animal husbandry. Furthermore also in society the need for education and advice on sustainable related topics increases.
In the Minor Program ‘Sustainable Animal Science’ the foundation for animal scientific professionals with a distinctive profile in a sustainable animal husbandry is formed. In a group project an active contribution is made to ‘real-life’ innovations in cooperation with partners from the sector of animal husbandry or animal sciences. Praxis-based applied research is combined with literature study and stakeholder conversations, resulting in a theoretical profound and practical applicable advice. Furthermore every student works on an individual study to an animal scientific topic of own choice, in which insight is gained in the physiological processes that are at the base of a good animal health and welfare.
Supportive to the performance of the individual study, the student receives coaching from a lecturer with experience in animal science, the student meets professionals fom the sector during guest lectures and excursions and the student follows supportive courses in which attention is paid to the professional development of competences concerning giving advice, societal education and a constructive participation in the public debate. Furthermore the student can proactively ask for guidance from the broad expert panel of HAS University of Applied Sciences and the partners from the sector to come to a theoretical profound answer on the phrased research question.