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21 November 2017 08:38:28 |Animal Health,Education,Husbandry,News

'Game-changing' partnership announced to advance livestock science

A new surveillance and research alliance in Scotland has been announced

A new surveillance and research alliance in Scotland has been announced

Moredun Research Institute and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have announced a new strategic partnership they describe as ‘game-changing’ in advancing livestock health and welfare production.
The partnership also hopes to increase the resilience in support of Scottish and global rural development, food security and food safety.
The institutions already work closely together through the provision of research and veterinary disease surveillance services to the Scottish Government.
Now, a strengthened partnership will build on their expertise in animal health, welfare, genetics, nutrition and pastoral farming systems.
To support this, the alliance will see cross-disciplinary collaborative teams established over the coming months in areas of strength, such as biosecurity, food security and SMART farming.
These teams will maximise opportunities to leverage new sources of investment from Scottish, UK, EU and global funders and share facilities, equipment and resources. The changes will help drive an improvement in the quality and relevance of research, providing solutions for Scottish and global challenges.

Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute, said: “Some of the grand challenges we face, including food security, environmental protection and adopting a 'One Health' approach linking health of humans, animals and our environment, requires teams of scientists working together in multi-disciplinary teams, focussing on the areas of maximum impact.
“SRUC and Moredun scientists will lead the way in developing new technologies and establishing routes to bring these to practical and commercial reality. Both organisations have extensive and longstanding links to farmers, land owners and others involved in custodianship of Scotland’s environment and our combined aim will be to support rural and urban communities across the country through research, development and knowledge exchange.”
New technologies
The partnership aims to provide new technologies for enhanced livestock health, welfare and production and enhance primary agricultural production with a focus on grassland and grazing systems in support of Scotland Food and Drink’s Ambition 2030.
It also hopes to be a global leader in the integration of livestock research and development, animal disease surveillance, knowledge exchange, and training to address the grand challenges of sustainable food systems.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the new strategic alliance. BVA Scottish Branch President Melissa Donald said: “In May, BVA participated in SRUC’s consultation on its new strategy and encouraged SRUC in its plans to work with other centres to ensure joined up working, information sharing, targeted expertise and avoid the duplication of work across centres.
“We are keen to see how this new alliance supports more defined integration and methods of collaborative working in terms of the acquisition, analysis and sharing of surveillance data, as well as for coordinated surveillance activity.

“It is vital that this collaborative working and data sharing should also seek to be cross border in nature, extending across UK and European surveillance systems.”


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