PhD on Pig Welfare

Further information available here: TEAGASC AD for WF for EARWEL

“Elucidating etiology and risk factors for ear necrosis on Irish pig farms (EarWel)”

Ear necrosis is highly prevalent on Irish pig farms. It poses major risks to pig welfare often resulting in a reduction of the ears, has a negative impact on growth and acts as a route of entry for bacteria to set up secondary infection in the body leading to disease and condemnations. The Walsh Scholar will investigate two main hypotheses in the course of the PhD programme namely 1) that ear necrosis is caused by a systemic inflammatory response most often prompted by stressors associated with nutrition, housing and management of the young pig and potentially exacerbated thereafter by ear biting and 2) that ear necrosis is caused by ear biting causing trauma to the ears and facilitating colonisation by bacteria (Staph. aureus, S. hyicus, treponemes and other opportunistic pathogens). EarWel will be composed of a blend of studies on commercial farms and at Moorepark, and will characterise the way in which risk factors interact in the development of ear necrosis. Outside of these broad aims, the project is flexible and open to changes of emphasis depending on the student’s interests and background. We will discuss this at interview stage and at the start of the project.

Salary: The scholarship funding is for €24,000 per annum and includes University fees of up to a maximum of €6,000 per annum and is tenable for 4 years

Closing date: 14/06/2021

Further information can be found here.