N. Ireland Politics

1,400 scientists attend Belfast livestock conference

Modern milking parlour
Image caption Delegates will discuss the latest developments in livestock science

More than 1,400 scientists are in Belfast this week for a major farming conference worth almost £3m to the local economy.

The delegates from 66 countries are attending four days of events at the Waterfront Hall.

The conference is looking at advances in livestock science.

There will also be farm visits and an opportunity to showcase Northern Ireland food.

The European Federation of Animal Science conference is Europe's largest such event.

There will be 1,000 presentations on beef and dairy cattle, sheep, pigs, fisheries and a range of other livestock.

A big focus is on feed efficiency - finding ways to maximise output while cutting costs.

Image caption Farm visits will be on the scientists' schedule

Of particular interest to Northern Ireland's farmers will be a session on grazing.

Much of our livestock is raised on grass.

Delegates will be shown the latest technologies.

They will also be introduced to the attractions of Belfast.

One of the events sees experts giving sessions in the bars around the city.

Image caption Developments in farming technology have resulted in greater efficiencies

It has been nicknamed "Prof in a Pub".

Gerry Lennon, chief executive of Visit Belfast said:

"Many hotels are completely full during this conference, and with social events taking place in many pubs and restaurants across the city, we are certain that the visiting delegates will have a fantastic time."

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