alexa Moredun Research Institute

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Moredun Research Institute

Moredun is committed to promoting animal health and welfare through research and education and is recognized worldwide for its contribution to research into infectious diseases of farmed livestock. Established by Scottish farmers in 1920, Moredun's work has always been firmly based on addressing the needs of the farming industry and Moredun's research has led to the development of many vaccines, diagnostic tests and improved treatment strategies for farm animals across the globe.

The Animal Diseases Research Association, now the registered charity the Moredun Foundation, was founded in 1920 by a group of Scottish farmers, with the aim of improving the health of livestock, especially sheep. The association founded a research institute employing vets and scientists, and over the decades the scope of animal health work expanded to cover goats, cows, horses and wildlife. The Institute was originally based at Moredun, in Edinburgh. The origins of Moredun go back to the years following World War I which saw an increased demand for home grown food and a significant rise in the market value of livestock. This emphasised the seriousness of the losses associated with disease and concerned farmers voiced their strong support for an organised body to conduct research into livestock diseases. In the 1920s Louping Ill and Braxy claimed almost a third of the lambs born in Scotland and Grass Sickness was having a devastating effect on horses, which were used for heavy labour on farms at that time.

In March 1920 a group of enlightened Scottish farmers held a public meeting at the Highland and Agricultural Society’s chambers in Edinburgh and the Animal Diseases Research Association (now known as The Moredun Foundation) was formed. Within six years the founder members had raised enough funds to buy a plot of land and build the Moredun Research Institute. Within ten years of the Research Institute opening, Moredun scientists had discovered the cause and developed vaccines and treatment strategies for Braxy and lamb dysentery. Scientists then went on to solve the mystery of Louping Ill which was found to be caused by a virus transmitted by ticks and a vaccine was soon developed. By the 1940s over half a million doses of vaccine and treatment products were produced and distributed by Moredun. Research gained momentum and further funding was secured to find out the causes of many different diseases such as: scrapie, pine, milk fever, Johne’s disease and a range of respiratory and reproductive disorders. Vaccines, diagnostics and treatment strategies followed. Today, many of the veterinary medicines and vaccines that are routinely used on farms have been researched, developed or tested at Moredun. This research is vital – 17% of the value of the UK sheep industry is lost each year due to infectious diseases. Subclinical infections of gut parasites are estimated to cost the UK sheep industry over £84 million a year in lost production. Enzootic abortion in ewes is thought to cost the UK sheep industry £15 million a year and Johne’s disease costs the UK cattle industry £13 million a year. Ninety years on, and still governed by farmers, Moredun’s mission to improve animal health and welfare remains strong and Moredun continues to apply cutting edge science and technology to help protect both livestock and people, today and tomorrow. It was a small group of forward thinking Scottish farmers who formed the Animal Diseases Research Association in 1920 to help provide solutions to improve the health of their livestock. This group established their own research institute and employed vets and scientists to develop effective control and prevention solutions for a range of infectious diseases that were having a devastating effect on livestock at that time.

This unique partnership of farming and scientific expertise grew and developed, and 90 years on is now the internationally recognised Moredun Group. Moredun Research Institute conducts world class scientific research to improve farm animal health and welfare through the prevention and control of infectious diseases of livestock. Moredun is a unique and valuable national facility employing highly trained and skilled staff. Moredun is committed to keep those who work directly with livestock up to date with the latest advances in animal health. Effective disease control is a global issue and Moredun is extremely proud of the many research collaborations it has established in order to drive animal health research forward. Moredun's science strategy centres on the multidisciplinary study of specific diseases or conditions by integrated application of scientific capabilities. Here at Moredun we are very keen on keeping people informed of the work we do. The Moredun Communications Team produces a range of free factsheets, technical newssheets, leaflets and magazines to help communicate the latest advances in animal health. In addition, our scientists are very active in communicating their work through publication in peer reviewed journals. We continue to develop our relationship with farming, veterinary and the general media and as a result Moredun continues to attract excellent press coverage.

The following is the list of proceedings by scholars from Moredun Research Institute that are published in OMICS International journals and conferences.

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