World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production (WCGALP), Rotterdam, The Netherlands
by Jozef Polák
The 12th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from 3 to 8 July 2022.
It is the largest monothematic event in the field in the world, held every 4 years. The previous congress was held in Auckland, New Zealand and the next one will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, USA in 2026. For more information, see the video invitation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddPD-A39zYM). This congress is a prominent conference for researchers and practitioners involved in the genetic improvement of livestock. Delegates from around the world meet every four years to participate in the scientific program and network with colleagues. WCGALP (https://wcgalp.com/) is a conference dedicated to the exchange of knowledge and interaction on innovations in genetics applied to livestock production that enable animal breeding to meet the future needs of human across the livestock production chain. Animal breeding relies on research and development as a long-term commitment to meet changing consumer demands to increase the efficiency of food resource production, reduce the environmental footprint, minimise the use of antibiotics, and contribute to food safety and to better livestock health and welfare. The agenda was spread over five days, each with 5 parallel sessions focusing on different areas of animal genetics and breeding. A special chapter was the morning plenary lectures presenting current knowledge and challenges in areas such as the use of genomic selection in breeding and conservation of genetic diversity in livestock as well as applications in wildlife, which were linked to panel discussions where scientific knowledge was confronted with representatives of companies doing business in the field. Within the congress, one morning session was devoted to education in animal genetics and breeding, with presentations on the digitalization of education in universities as well as the transfer of knowledge through informal education to practice and getting closer to farmers. The session also included a panel discussion on engaging practitioners in education, with invited representatives from major companies such as URUS Group (J. B. Cole), ABS Global (K. M. Olson), Genus-PIC (P. Knaap), ILRI (R. A. Mrode).
At WCGALP Slovakia was represented by FAPZ, SPU in Nitra prof. Ing. Radovan Kasarda, PhD. and doc. Ing. Nina Moravčíková, PhD. At the conference, they presented results in the field of companion animal breeding in the form of the current state of diversity and future breeding of the Tatra hound and the impact of long-term selection on the genetic structure of the Czechoslovakian wolfdog, respectively. The presentations were interesting, as evidenced by the extensive discussion in the auditorium. Within WCGALP there was a joint session dedicated to young scientists, co-organised by EFFAB and FABRE-TP, a consortium of which we as a university are a member. WCGALP is not only a venue for formal presentations but a space for various informal discussions and working meetings. During the congress, knowledge is exchanged and innovations in the field of genetics applied to animal production are communicated.