£2.7m for research to protect animals

Research at The Roslin Institute to improve the health of livestock around the world has received a £2.7 million boost.

Studies to understand viruses that cause major losses in the pig and poultry industry will benefit from the funding.

Scientists will also investigate the genetics of the chicken’s immune response, to help devise strategies that will enable farmers to breed birds that are more resistant to diseases.

Another project will focus on a parasite that is a major cause of gut diseases in farmed cattle worldwide.

The funding was announced by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) as part of a £6 million investment from the Animal Health Research Club.

Four out of eight studies to benefit from the funding involve researchers from the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute.

Professor David Hume, Director of The Roslin Institute, said: “These awards reflect the strengths of Roslin in the area of animal health, and our commitment to working with industry to reduce the burden of endemic diseases.”

The Animal Health Research Club is a consortium between BBSRC, the Scottish Government and leading companies from the animal breeding, animal health and farming sectors.