The Asian Pacific Federation's Working Group 3 involves researchers working on "Ratites" (emus, ostriches, rheas, cassowaries and kiwis).
Since the 3rd International Ratite Science Symposium that was held in Madrid (Spain) in 2005, the activity of the Working Group on Ratites gained momentum that culminated in a 3-day scientific conference, the 4th International Ratite Science Symposium that was held in 2008 during the 23rd World's Poultry Congress in Brisbane, Australia. Prior to that, a one-day Clean-Green-Ethical Ratite Farming Symposium was also held at the University of Western Australia, hosted by the UWA Institute of Agriculture. However, as the ratite industries worldwide have shrunk considerably, and support for ratite research has reduced, the activity of the Group slowed down and the European Federation of WPSA closed its Ratite Working Group 13. Even so, an interest in Ostrich farming continues in Europe with the most significant breeding stock thought to be held in Germany. In Germany, during the annual meeting of the German WPSA branch a review on ostrich farming was presented by Mr. Kistner and a visit to his Mhou farm was included in the programme. A great need for support from poultry scientists to improve management and acceptance of ostrich farming was expressed. Given that the majority of the ratite research activity, however, is concentrated in the Southern Hemisphere the Ratite Group registered with the Asia Pacific Federation (APF) of WPSA as its new Working Group 3 (WG3). The membership of the WG3 of APF WPSA consists a good number of ratite researchers and veterinary practitioners from the North and South Americas, Europe, Africa, Central and East Asia, Australia and New Zealand who remained active and have continued their research in reproduction, genetics, incubation, nutrition, growth and development, health and welfare, and conservation of ratites. The ratite researchers continue to publish in scientific journals and conference proceedings and the most recent output of the Group members is the publication of the book titled "The Welfare of Farmed Ratites" (P. Glatz, C. Lunam, I. Malecki Eds., Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011).
Mrs A. Engelbrecht
Institute for Animal Production
P.O. Box 351
Phone: +27 044 272 6077
Fax: +27 086 508 6299