The Canadian Connection

Professor Henry ‘Hank’ Classen, from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon in Canada, is currently in Australia on four months sabbatical leave. Hank is Head of the Department of Animal and Poultry Science in the University’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

While in Australia Hank has spent some time here at Poultry CRC headquarters. As he says, he has known Poultry CRC CEO, Mingan Choct, “for a long time”. “The chance to meet face-to-face, to work alongside and share ideas with people such as Mingan, Bob Swick, Paul Iji, and Shubiao Wu, all at UNE is a great opportunity” said Hank. “Having these people to pass ideas by is invaluable in developing plans for future, longer-term research collaborations and partnerships.”

Hank’s current research application relates to current Poultry CRC/UNE work on the development of a Net Energy system for the poultry industry. His research will look at how rapidly nutrients are digested, and impacts on gut metabolism. This visit gives him the opportunity to ‘flesh out’ ideas among like minds.

Conversely, Mingan has recognised the opportunity to get an international perspective on current CRC projects. Hank will lend his expertise to reviewing a number of poultry CRC projects. “I’ll be looking at what was initially set out in the original research grant and comparing that to current progress; a fairly standard evaluation process” said Hank.

From Hanks’ perspective, the Australian and Canadian poultry industries face similar challenges in terms of future sustainability. “For example, we currently have a lot of welfare related research to demonstrate that the kinds of procedures that we do are in fact appropriate” said Hank. This is important in ensuring codes of practice are justifiable, it helps build confidence in poultry production systems and bases future legislation on solid, scientific foundations.

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