Animal health grant boost

THE largest grant ever to be awarded by the EU in the field of animal health has been secured by Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh, a fantastic result for the world class facility based in Scotland's capital.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 7th July 2010, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2010, 12:29 pm

The nine million euro grant, which equates to approximately 7.5 million pounds, has been awarded to the Moredun-led "Paravac" consortium for the purpose of developing vaccines for significant worm parasites which infect livestock. The grant, part of the European Union's Framework 7 research funding call, will be used to fund a series of projects over the next three years and will include over 20 academic partners worldwide.

Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Environment, made the announcement at a reception at the Scottish Parliament.

Nigel Miller, NFUS vice-president and a qualified vet, said that livestock keepers throughout Scotland would reap the benefits of the decision to support Moredun in this practical way.

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He added: "Many sheep farmers have struggled with drug resistance and although the recent introduction of a new anthelmintic has delivered a solution, in the long term vaccine technology may be vital to avoid further problems.

"Worm control is probably the biggest burden in terms of cost and time faced by livestock farmers and so the prospect of vaccine led control would be a huge breakthrough for the industry as a whole.

"The award of this grant to Moredun really is fantastic news. Safeguarding vital research capabilities are necessary to ensure the future of our livestock industry."