£4m fund to research animal diseases

25 September, 2013

A multi-million-pound investment could help see-off bovine TB (bTB), as well as several other diseases detrimental to farm animals.

Investment to boost disease research

The sum of £4m has been donated for world-leading UK research by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) Animal Health Research Club (ARC), to help reduce or erase industry-destroying diseases.

The disease at the top of the agenda in the beef sector is bTB and £829,790 has been donated to the study of genomic selection for bTB resistance in dairy cows. Research will be carried out by several scientists at the University of Edinburgh and Scotland’s Rural College.

Scientists on the study acknowledged bTB’s major economic, trade, health and welfare impacts on the cattle industry, other animals and humans. They will use datasets from UK cattle herds in the UK and Republic of Ireland to create a way of indicating what genes make cattle susceptible to bTB, “which could be used to breed cattle for bTB resistance”, said scientists.

Six other projects will also be funded to reduce or understand diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus; infectious bronchitis virus; avian viruses; the chicken disease coccidiosis; mastitis; and major histocompatibility complex.

Projects funded by the award will take place over the next three years at various universities, colleges and institutes across the UK. There will be a second call for funding through the ARC in October, where a further £5.5m will be available.

BBSRC director Dr Celia Caulcott said: “Livestock diseases cost UK farmers and the wider economy millions of pounds a year, pose welfare problems for farmed animals and negatively affect food security.

“By funding studies that take a broad look at some of the most prevalent and costly livestock diseases, the ARC will be able to deliver results to benefit farmers, animals and consumers.”





comments powered by Disqus
These comments have not been moderated.

You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions 'Participating in Online Communities'. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment.

Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments.

If you wish to complain about a comment please use the 'flag as inappropriate' button or email ed.bedington@wrbm.com.

Site Search

Poll

Should all halal meat products be labelled as such?

  • I'd rather know if it's been stunned or not
  • Yes
  • No

Calendar

Twitter