AgResearch's animal health and nutrition work focuses on the multiple challenges of creating sustainable animal productivity while balancing environmental impacts such as the emission of greenhouse gases.
Ruminant animals are important contributors to the New Zealand economy via their production of milk, meat and fibre products. However, methane emissions from ruminants account for almost a third of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reducing these emissions is important for meeting New Zealand’s obligations under current and future international agreements on greenhouse gas reduction.
AgResearch conducts basic and applied research in parasitic and infectious diseases of pastoral livestock, with expertise in understanding the microbial communities and processes of the rumen.
Research outcomes include developing management systems that minimize the impact of animal disease, vaccine development and delivery, improved diagnostics, drug development and drug target discovery, improving plant fibre digestion and reducing enteric greenhouse gas emissions.
We partner with Massey University at Palmerston North's Hopkirk Research Institute, where we have the southern hemisphere's largest concentration of health sciences for pastoral-fed animals. Research is led by senior scientists who are international leaders in their respective fields.