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The XXIII World’s Poultry Congress: Brisbane offers the perfect stage

Brisbane offers the perfect stage


March 10, 2008
By Dr. Peter Hunton

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The World’s Poultry Congress is held every four years. Congresses are sponsored by the World’s Poultry Science Association (WPSA), an international organization with more than 7,000 members in about 80 countries around the world.

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BRISBANE SETS THE STAGE
The 2008 World’s Poultry Congress is being held in Brisbane, Australia, and will feature industry trends and research from global experts.

The World’s Poultry Congress is held every four years. Congresses are sponsored by the World’s Poultry Science Association (WPSA), an international organization with more than 7,000 members in about 80 countries around the world.

Brisbane holds the XXIIIrd Congress in a series that began in 1921, when the first Congress was held in The Hague, the Netherlands. At the Congress in The Hague, 384 delegates representing 23 countries attended. Following this, the second Congress was held in Spain and the third, in Canada, in Ottawa in 1927. Over 500 delegates registered in Ottawa. Held each three years until the Second World War, and every four years thereafter, the Congresses have taken place in 17 countries in all the world’s continents. This is the second congress for Australia, the first being in Sydney in 1962. Only six countries have hosted the Congress twice; the Netherlands, Spain, Canada (the second Canadian Congress was in Montréal in 2000, with more than 2,400 delegates), U.S., U.K., and Australia. Brazil will hold its second Congress in 2012.

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The WPSA was founded in 1912, when it was known as the International Association of Poultry Instructors. Although primarily initiated by British and American scientists, 14 countries, including Canada, were involved in the original organization. The Association has evolved over the past century, and now welcomes not only instructors but anyone with an interest in poultry science. Thus it has a very strong industrial connection, with many members from the commercial poultry industry. The three pillars of the Association are Education, Research and Organization.

xiiiworldcong2The Association publishes the World’s Poultry Science Journal, which is sent to all current members. It is also available to members online. Abstracts and table of contents can be viewed at http://journals.cambridge.org/WPS .  The Journal contains scholarly reviews of all aspects of poultry science. The Journal is published four times annually, and each issue contains roughly 160 pages. Each issue will contain up to 10 review articles and also short papers on national industry news, particularly from developing countries. Many of the review articles are originally from some of the symposia and conferences that the Association sponsors. These draw relatively small audiences (50-300) so the publication of such reviews in the Journal gives them a much wider distribution. Since the introduction of electronic publication, all back issues of the Journal have been digitized and are available on subscription at http://journals.cambridge.org/WPS . For subscription enquiries, contact usjournals@cambridge.org .

The Congresses extend the reach of the Association by bringing together the largest single audience of poultry scientists in the world. Depending on the location and the vagaries of travel and politics, Congresses attract anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 delegates. In most cases, more than half are Association members but the remainder are simply attracted by the subject matter and the opportunity to interact with people of like mind. WPSA members receive a discount on the registration fee for the Congress. In the case of the Brisbane Congress, this is $100 or $200, depending when you register. The Congress proceedings, starting with the Montréal event, are published in electronic form, on a CD. Abstracts are sometimes printed in hard copy. Copies of all past Congress proceedings are held in the WPSA Archive at the American National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md.

 
Contacting the WPSA
For more information about the WPSA, readers can check the website at www.wpsa.com. For information, or to join the Canada branch, contact the secretary, Karen Schwean Lardner, Department of Animal and Poultry Science, University of Saskatchewan, 4C16 Agriculture Building, Saskatoon, Sask.,
S7N 5A8, e-mail: karen.schwean@usask.ca .

Australia, while having a relatively small population, has a prosperous poultry industry and a thriving community of poultry scientists, well able to mount a successful Congress. The Australian branch of the WPSA has more than 200 members. There are at least five important centres of poultry research: in Brisbane in Queensland; Sydney and Armidale, New South Wales; Melbourne; and Adelaide. Until relatively recently, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) had a section devoted to the study of poultry genetics and breeding, although this is now closed. The poultry industry has a history of self-sufficiency, partly due to geography: Australia is a long way from many potential suppliers. In addition, until the late 1980s, imports of breeding stock were not permitted, and local breeders had essentially a monopoly in both eggs and meat. In the past 15 years, however, the international breeders have been permitted to import grandparent stock and have become well established.

Brisbane is an ideal location for the Congress, being located about halfway up Australia’s east coast and, therefore, having a subtropical climate. In addition, it is home to the University of Queensland, one of the major poultry research centres in the country. Dr. Bob Pym, president of the branch and chairman of the Congress, lives and works in Brisbane. The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre is relatively new and offers state-of-the-art facilities, with the conference and exhibition under one roof. It is right downtown, within walking distance of most major hotels, and close to the Brisbane River, which offers spectacular views of the city as well as a wonderful means of transportation.
The Congress program follows a traditional pattern; Plenary sessions addressed by invited speakers involving all delegates, and concurrent symposia and oral and poster presentations of submitted papers. For full details of the program and registration, visit the Congress website at www.wpc2008.com .

While we don’t yet know the extent of the Canadian presence, we do know that one graduate student from the University of Saskatchewan will attend. Samira Dadgar won the Canada Branch Graduate Student Competition, and will enjoy an expense-paid trip to the Congress, sponsored by the Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency. The title of her paper is “Effect of microclimate temperature during transportation of broiler chickens on quality of the Pectoralis major muscle. The Canada Branch WPSA secured funding from CEMA and CHEP as well as other industrial contributors to assist Canadian scientists to attend the Congress.

With the opening date fast approaching, Canadians interested in attending should make arrangements as soon as possible. It’s going to be a great meeting!