This volume is the first in a series of reports of workshops on "The use of animal biotechnology, to improve animal health status and meat quality". This subject covers several points of focus, involving items as diverse as grassland utilization and meat quality perception. "Animal biotechnology" was defined to include manipulation of reproduction; genetic manipulation of animals (transgenic animals); development of diagnostics and vaccines; and the use of growth promoters (performance enhancers) that manipulate digestion (e.g. probiotics) or tissue metabolism (e.g. somatotropins). The volume adopts a multidisciplinary approach to animal biotechnology and its relation to meat production.