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Moredun ISSUE 14 | AUTUMN/WINTER 2017


Bringing key biosecurity messages to life Fluke and agri-environment schemes Scottish Deer Health Survey

In this Issue: p1



Battle of the Bugs


Evaluating poultry red mite


Moredun Scientific and Pentlands Science Park update


Liver fluke risk and agri-enviroment schemes


Out and About


Scottish Deer Health Survey


Moredun and RHASS collaborate

Director’s comment Photo | Jim Mackintosh


A very warm welcome to this Autumn/Winter issue of the Moredun Magazine. We have been very busy these last few months with lots of excellent initiatives, collaborative research projects and knowledge exchange events. It has also been a time of celebration as we honoured staff past and present at our AGM in September. We were delighted to honour Peter Wells at the event with a Moredun Foundation Honorary Fellowship and to be able to congratulate Gary Entrican for his thirty years of service to the Moredun Group (page 1). We always enjoy welcoming visitors to Pentlands Science Park and sharing our research outputs and goals. In September Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, paid us a visit to discuss our latest research findings. Finding innovative ways to showcase our work and to highlight important livestock

health issues has seen us produce another short animation in collaboration with Selina Wagner. Battle of the Bugs brings key biosecurity messages to life and was showcased at a number of events this summer (page 3). If you have yet to see it you can watch it on our new website. More highlights from our time out and about this summer can be seen on pages 8 and 9 including an on farm event in Cumbria in collaboration with the Farmer Network. We have some interesting research updates in this issue, including more on our innovative work in developing new vaccines to control the devastating poultry red mite (page 4) and collaborative liver fluke projects looking at quantifying the risk of grazing wetland areas (page 6). Our scientists are also looking to establish the status and impact of the health of Scotland’s wild deer population with the launch of the Scottish Deer Health Survey (page 10). Our Communications Team have been busy bringing new benefits to our members with the launch of the new online Member Portal at the end of August (page 13) and we were also delighted to strengthen our working relationship with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) following the announcement of a new associate member partnership (page 12). We hope that you enjoy this issue of the magazine and thank you for your continued support.

Julie Fitzpatrick Scientific Director and Chief Executive

Moredun Magazine Moredun magazine is produced twice a year and is available free of charge. Designed and Produced by Moredun Communications Centre ©2017. All images, unless otherwise stated, are ©Moredun. To subscribe, contact: Moredun Communications Team, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017

Comments, ideas, suggestions? Get in touch and let us know. Please contact: Moredun Communications Team, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ tel: +44 (0)131 445 5111 fax:+44 (0)131 445 6111 email: web: @MoredunComms

The Moredun Foundation is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No. SC151865. The Moredun Foundation is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SC022515 Address: Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland, EH26 0PZ Cover image: Thinkstock


Cabinet Secretary visits Moredun Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, visited Moredun on 6th September to hear about the latest research to develop new technologies to improve livestock health and welfare.

vaccines to help combat disease and reduce

Mr Ewing was very interested to hear about

post-graduate researchers from all over the

our biosecurity work focussing on disease prevention as well as the development of new

the need for drug and pesticide treatments. Later in the month we also welcomed Oliver Mundell MSP who was very interested to hear more about our work in education. This area of knowledge exchange encompasses our provision of training opportunities for

Fergus Ewing MSP with Ian Duncan Millar and Professor Julie Fitzpatrick.

world and also includes our outreach work with school pupils and teachers.

Honorary Fellowship for past Moredun Scientific Chairman The Moredun Foundation was delighted to award an honorary fellowship to Peter Wells at its AGM on 7th September. Peter’s connection with Moredun started back in the 1970s when he became part of a team which had been assembled to tackle the problem of ovine pasteurellosis. The research led to a vaccine, which, for the first time, was shown to protect against pneumonic pasteurellosis in sheep. His expertise was also utilised in the development of a prototype vaccine for the control of bovine rotavirus infection. By the time he left academia in the 1980s, Peter had written over 60 publications

Peter Wells receives his Honorary Fellowship from Moredun’s Ian Duncan Millar and Julie Fitzpatrick.

in veterinary pharmacology, microbiology and immunology. A successful career in the animal health pharmaceutical industry followed, with

research and development roles spanning almost thirty years. His most recent role in this field was with Novartis Animal Health where he led their global research and development activities for pharmaceutical and vaccine products. Peter returned to Moredun in his ‘retirement’ taking up the role of Chairman of Moredun Scientific in 2008. He was able to bring his extensive experience in research and development to the role, helping to guide the work of Moredun Scientific for eight years until he retired from the post in 2016. Peter continues to support the livestock health industry through his work with GALVmed – an organisation which supports livestock keepers in the developing world.

Moredun Professor marks 30 years Our warmest congratulations to Professor Gary Entrican who recently celebrated 30 years of service to the Moredun Group.

and has worked mainly on infectious causes of

control infectious diseases of livestock. This

abortion in sheep; most notably border disease

principally applies to chlamydial abortion in

and chlamydial abortion.

sheep but also includes other bacterial and viral

Now as a Principal Research Scientist and

pathogens of sheep and cattle.

Group Leader at Moredun Research Institute

Gary is also a Honorary Professor within

Gary joined Moredun after completing his PhD

he is focused on ruminant immunology and

the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine

in Immunology at the University of Glasgow

the development of vaccination strategies to

at The University of Edinburgh.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017


News Professor Julie Fitzpatrick receives Honorary Doctorate of Science from Edinburgh Napier University

L to R: Dr David Eustace (Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier), Prof Julie Fitzpartick, Dr Gary Hutchinson (Edinburgh Napier), Prof Andrea Nolan (Principal and Vice Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier).

At a special ceremony held in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on 29th June, Professor Julie Fitzpatrick joined hundreds of Edinburgh Napier students to receive an Honorary Doctorate of Science.

to work together with colleagues especially

of us to increase our impact nationally and

in Life Sciences, in collaborating to increase


our impact in research and development, benefitting people, animals, food and farming in Scotland and further afield. Edinburgh Napier University excels in preparing its student population to provide useful and motivated graduates across multiple sectors


Professor Andrea Nolan, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, said, “It is wonderful to see people who have made such a significant impact in the worlds of business, science, industry and

Professor Julie Fitzpatrick said, “It is an

of importance to Scotland’s economy. Linking

the arts joining our celebrations. Their drive,

honour to be recognised by Edinburgh

organisations such as the Moredun Research

talent and enthusiasm will inspire our students

Napier University in being awarded an

Institute to universities in the Edinburgh region

as they set out to make their own mark on

Honorary Doctorate of Science. I continue

with similar aims and objectives allows all

the world.”

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017


Battle of the Bugs – Bringing key biosecurity messages to life Following the success of the War of the Worms animation, Moredun were delighted to join forces once again with animator Selina Wagner (Blobina Animations) to create another engaging short film. ‘Battle of the Bugs’ highlights the key biosecurity messages that are a critically important part of disease prevention and control. The animation focuses on sheep scab and BVD as examples of biosecurity in practice and its importance to farm profitability. The animation, funded by Crown Estate Scotland and the Moredun Foundation, builds on the Biosecurity Big 5 project - an initiative lead by the two organisations. To view please visit our website

Using animation to help promote understanding of key livestock issues.

Moredun CEO appointed as Vice President of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland Professor Julie Fitzpatrick has been appointed as a vice president of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS).

‘host’ region, Aberdeenshire, the new presidential team will preside over the 178th Royal Highland Show in 2018 and will work to promote their home region of the Lothians to everyone at the event. Speaking in the

Julie is joined on the 2017/18 presidential

summer, the then RHASS Chairman, Keith

team by the society’s new president Sir Crispin

Brooke added, “We are delighted to welcome

Agnew of Lochnaw Bt QC and fellow vice

such an esteemed presidential team to

presidents Sir Robert M Clerk Bt OBE, Charles

represent the Lothians and very much look

Dudgeon FRICS and Louise Welsh.

forward to showcasing the Lothians at next

Taking over the helm from last year’s

year’s Royal Highland Show.”

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017


Research New funding to evaluate control strategies against poultry red mite

“As always we are funding a diverse range of great projects which will impact on the 3Rs and we will work with the scientists we fund to ensure the 3Rs potential of their science is maximised to benefit as many animals as possible.” Dr Vicky Robinson, Chief Executive of the NC3Rs

Poultry red mite (PRM) is a significant economic and welfare concern worldwide. The mites are blood feeders, often attacking resting birds at night causing pain, irritation, anaemia and a drop in egg production. Demand for new methods of controlling PRM is therefore high but the testing procedure typically uses mites in laboratory-based (“in vitro”) tests initially, followed by field testing involving large numbers of hens. Scientists at Moredun however have developed an ‘on-hen’ mite feeding device as an alternative to both the in vitro feeding assays and field studies. This system can be used to test vaccine efficacy on small numbers of hens (4 per treatment group, as opposed to 400 per treatment group in field trials) without continuous exposure of the birds to the parasites. Now, with recent funding from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) Dr Alasdair Nisbet and his team will be able to further develop

Blood feeding poultry red mites often attack resting birds at night.


Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017

the feeding device into a reliable tool for monitoring vaccine and acaricide-induced effects on mite mortality. Dr Nisbet said, “We hope that if this project is successful it will reduce the reliance on large scale, prolonged field trials and lead to the reduction in the numbers of hens used in the efficacy testing of vaccines.” Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, Scientific Director of Moredun Research Institute

said, “We are delighted that Moredun has been awarded this research grant by NC3Rs and we are committed to the principles of refining, replacing and reducing the use of animals in research. Dr Nisbet and his team are conducting ground breaking work in developing new vaccines to control this devastating disease in hens and this new research project will help them to progress towards this important goal.”

Moredun Scientific/Pentlands Science Park

Porcine Infectious Disease Focus The pressure to reduce the use of antimicrobials in farming is viewed as a contributing factor to the observed growth in the number of development projects for both vaccines and novel immunostimulatory products to protect pig herds against infectious disease.

tremor and associated pathology in new born piglets which is associated with an atypical pestivirus.

Infectious disease symposium

Disease models

Pig accommodation

Moredun Scientific’s portfolio of porcine

Capacity for pig studies has been extended

infectious disease models continues to grow

with the addition of specialised pig housing

having recently successfully developed a model

units to meet the increased requirement

for Pasteurella multocida. This is a bacterial

from clients.

Moredun recently hosted an international symposium entitled “Trends in Swine Infectious Diseases” which attracted an audience of vets, scientists, pig producers and representatives from across the animal health industry. The event enabled the exchange of information and provided a platform for further collaboration and networking. John Mackinnon, Chairman of Moredun Scientific commented, “I am very pleased to see the increased focus on the prevention and control of porcine infectious diseases at Moredun. This is of growing importance for food security as the global demand for pig meat rises.”

disease and complements existing models

Porcine disease research

For more information about our work on

for Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and

A new PhD project funded by Moredun

porcine infectious diseases contact

Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae which are also causative agents of respiratory disease.

Scientific has started at the Moredun Research

David Reddick at Moredun Scientific:

Institute to further investigate congenital

In line with the above trend, Moredun Scientific has seen continued interest in their expertise in this area which has led to several new developments:

pathogen associated with porcine respiratory

Pentlands Science Park and the growing Easter Bush Campus Pentlands Science Park has grown into a mature and successful science park over the past 23 years. The Park’s success has contributed to the growth of the wider Easter Bush area which, during this time, has established itself as a significant location for world class research. In recent years growth in the area has accelerated, largely due to developments at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus. Coupled with the continued development of the nearby Edinburgh Technopole and Biocampus sites, it’s an exciting time for Easter Bush. Paramount to this success is the close working relationships which have developed between the various stakeholders involved. All stakeholders are represented on the Easter Bush Development Board which

PSP has grown into a mature and successful science park.

meets regularly to discuss common issues and objectives. Together they help to promote the Easter Bush area as a world class research location – particularly the world leading animal science capability. Their work was enhanced by the establishment of the

Midlothian Science Zone brand for the area and the development of its excellent website as a key portal for news and promotion as well as an important first stop for inward investment enquiries. Collective working also helps to improve infrastructure and amenities to benefit the growing number of people and businesses working in the area. Easter Bush is benefitting from better bus services and a jointly funded LEADER application was successful in providing funds for improved road signage to the area. Work also continues to determine the feasibility of establishing a Midlothian Science Zone Business Improvement District to fund further general improvements in the area. These joint stakeholder initiatives will continue to drive the area forward and, with the wider support of Midlothian Council and Scottish Enterprise, put Easter Bush and Pentlands Science Park firmly on the map.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017



The liver fluke is a highly pathogenic flatworm parasite that causes significant disease and production loss in grazing livestock. It has a complicated life-cycle involving a tiny mud snail intermediate host which is responsible for spreading the infection on pasture. As its name suggests, this mud snail is typically found in muddy areas but does not live in standing water or ponds. Livestock become infected by ingesting microscopic fluke cysts shed by infected snails onto pasture.

Wader scrapes at SRUC Kirkton with in-bye field beyond.

For example, some options within the Scottish Government’s Agri-Environment and Climate Change Scheme (AECS) promote the retention and enhancement of wetland features within grazing fields, to benefit bird species such as curlew and lapwing. Grazing these wet areas is beneficial as it helps

Photo | Grace Cuthill

The mud snail is key to the liver fluke lifecycle, as a result, liver fluke risk is typically associated with poorly drained boggy ground which is seen as an ideal snail habitat. The risk is exacerbated by wet and mild weather patterns that favour snail survival and multiplication. However, mud snails are not the only species that favour these boggy areas, they also provide ideal habitats for other invertebrates, wading birds and amphibian species. As a result, wetland and boggy marginal areas are often subject to a number of environmental schemes, some of which involve grazing livestock as part of managing these areas.

Photo | Philip Skuce

Liver fluke risk and agri-environment schemes

The liver fluke mud snail, Galba truncatula, in situ.


Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017

Project 1:

Fluke and wader scrapes Wader scrapes are small, shallow water features, introduced to promote feeding and nesting sites for key wetland bird species such as curlew, lapwing, snipe and oystercatcher, which are in serious decline nationally. Grazing is essential to keep the vegetation down for nesting habitat as well as to maintain muddy areas on the margins to promote invertebrate food supply for chicks. However, grazing these boggy areas could put livestock at risk of fluke infection. Liver fluke status and snail populations are being monitored in and around wader scrapes at SRUC’s Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms in collaboration with the RSPB.

Project 2:

Fluke and Natterjack toad conservation

Photo | Philip Skuce


The Solway Firth is home to the only breeding population of Natterjack toads in Scotland. These are a protected species and need short grass and heathland with areas of open water to feed and reproduce. In particular, they hunt at night on grazed and bare areas of the marginal saltmarsh (or merse) and nearby farmland. Grazing these marshy areas could put livestock at risk of fluke infection, but is essential to maintain the characteristics favourable for these rare and protected animals. Work is being carried out on the Solway Firth in collaboration with Scottish Natural Heritage and the Amphibian and Reptilian ConservationTrust to assess the fluke risk of grazing marginal saltmarsh.

Photo | Marlies Nicolai (GWCT)

To understand the relationship between fluke and environmental features better, Moredun scientists are involved in a number of collaborative projects which aim to quantify the fluke infection risk of three different agri-environmental scheme options.

Lapwing and chick nesting at Auchnerran.

Sampling on the Solway Firth – good weather for snails!

prevent colonising plants from choking other vegetation and creates a mosaic of habitat types. Grazing also augments the invertebrate population, which provides a valuable food source for wading birds. Fluke management has, however, typically focused on reducing livestock access to boggy ground - by either fencing it out or draining – combined with the routine treatment of stock with chemical flukicides. Consequently, there is some perceived reluctance amongst livestock farmers to engage in such agri-environment schemes for fear of increasing the liver fluke risk to their livestock and the reliance on flukicide treatments. To understand the relationship between fluke and environmental features better, Moredun scientists are involved in collaborative projects which aim to quantify the fluke infection risk of three different agrienvironmental scheme options. The research will determine the species of mud snails found in wetland areas at a number of sites, along with both the liver fluke infection status of the snails and of any livestock grazing these areas. Producing a whole farm fluke management plan and being able to assess the fluke risk can help reduce the fluke burden and improve productivity, whilst still managing areas of wetland for wildlife. It is hoped that, as these research projects progress, they will shed further light on the situation allowing farmers to identify and fully evaluate the risks to their own livestock.

We would like to acknowledge the Scottish Government Rural and Environmental Science and Analytical Services (RESAS) Division, for funding this work through the Strategic Research Programme, 2016-2021. We would also like to acknowledge the support of Chris Baillie (RSPB), Francois Chazel (SNH), Pete Minting (ARC-Trust), Dave Parish and Marlies Nicolai (GWCT) and Sarah Allison (Soil Association).

Project 3:

Fluke and liming Raising the pH of extensively managed grassland using lime can improve the sward productivity by altering soil processes and may also benefit invertebrate food supply for wading birds. However, mud snails also benefit from a neutral pH, so liming may increase snail abundance on boggier or poached areas, potentially increasing the fluke risk to grazing livestock. Monitoring the effect of liming on sward productivity and invertebrates, including mud snails, is taking place at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Demonstration Farm at Auchnerran, in collaboration with scientists at the James Hutton Institute.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017


Out and About Show round up Moredun had a very successful summer season exhibiting and speaking at agricultural shows and specialist sheep and beef events throughout the UK.

different livestock health and welfare issues

and raise awareness of the work of the Moredun Group to livestock producers, industry representatives and members of the public. All the events were very well attended and we were also delighted to be awarded second prize in the Best Indoor Trade Stand competition at NSA Welsh Sheep despite our slightly soggy appearance from the heavy rain!

Inspiring science

At Moredun we enjoy getting involved in making science fun and accessible to all. As a result, our scientists have taken part in a number of education events over the last six months.

Staff had the opportunity to discuss many

Moredun’s marquee at the Royal Highland Show.

For further information about the future shows and events Moredun will be attending please visit

education stand in the RHET Discovery Centre. Moredun scientists helped visitors don their detective hats to identify the correct culprit from the line-up of foodborne pathogens.

Biggar Science Festival Supporting RHET in the Borders

Moredun staff had a fantastic day supporting

At the end of May we were delighted to take part in a science education workshop organised by the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) at Kelso High School. Moredun scientists ran workshops throughout the day giving the large group of 12 to 14 year olds an opportunity to get to grips with diagnostics techniques. We would like to thank Scientific Laboratory Supplies for kindly providing equipment for the workshop.

the inaugural Biggar Science Festival in October. Our Disease Detectives workshop was a big hit with children and adults alike.

Inspiring Young Scientists Careers Showcase In September, Moredun supported SEFARI’s (Scottish Environment Food Agriculture Research Institutes) involvement at the Inspiring Young Scientists Career Showcase event held

Education workshop on food safety (L to R: Eleanor Watson and Kevin Mclean).

Disease Detectives at the Royal Highland Show

in Edinburgh. The event was designed to give

As well as our main marquee, Moredun were also involved in a collaborative food safety

surprising world of career opportunities

an insight into the amazing and sometimes available in science.

Moredun scientists support prestigious veterinary event Moredun scientists were very much involved when the Sheep Veterinary Society hosted the 9th International Sheep Veterinary Congress earlier this year. The prestigious event took place in Harrogate from 22nd to 26th May and was a great


Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017

opportunity to showcase Moredun’s research to veterinary professionals and industry representatives from across the globe. Moredun’s Scientific Director and Chief Executive, Professor Julie Fitzpatrick was honoured to provide the opening plenary talk and discussion on the first day of the congress. Julie’s thought provoking talk was focused on global priorities for food security and the role

of small ruminants within this challenging topic. Our scientists also gave keynote talks and poster presentations throughout the week as well as helping to man the Moredun Foundation stand within the exhibition hall. Congratulations must go to the Sheep Veterinary Society’s organising committee for a wonderful event; a fitting way to mark their 50th anniversary.


On farm in Cumbria

August saw Moredun join forces with the Farmer Network to deliver an informative and busy livestock production event in Cumbria. ‘Finishing lambs on grass with an eye on the bottom line’ was kindly hosted by James and Tom Stobart of Croglin High Hall, Armathwaite and their farm vet, Brian Mundell (Capontree Vets). The practical based afternoon of workshops and discussions started with a farm walk, led by the Stobart brothers. The activity

A warm welcome on farm in Cumbria.

Lameness workshop.

focused on the farm’s rotational grazing system which was set up by the Stobart’s to get the most from their grass. James believes that good quality grass is key to the efficiency of lamb and beef production on the farm. The brothers set out to keep live weight gain as high as possible while reducing costs associated with feed and fertilisers. An objective which has been met through their tightly monitored rotational grazing system - a testament to their “more fences = more grass” approach. The event also featured practical workshops including a session addressing the important production limiting subject

of sheep lameness, where vet Brian Mundell concentrated on the common causes of lameness and the effective treatments and strategies that could be implemented to control them. The second workshop of the afternoon focused on achieving effective and sustainable worm control. Moredun’s Dr Fiona Kenyon explained the problems of blanket worming and the development of anthelmintic resistance. With the use of a combi-clamp, weigh head and stick reader (kindly donated for the day by Ritchie Agricultural) Fiona outlined an alternative approach which has been shown to reduce anthelmintic usage without compromising live weight gain in lambs. The method uses EID when weighing lambs routinely to establish their live weight gain and direct anthelmintic treatment to those lambs not making target weights. Both workshops provoked excellent discussions amongst the group of over seventy farmers, vets and industry specialists with the demonstrations helping to highlight the important take home messages - the benefits of measuring, using diagnostics and data to improve production and reduce disease. We would like to thank James, Tom, Brian and Fiona for hosting and the Yorkshire Wagyu Company for their excellent barbeque at the end of a thought provoking and enjoyable day.

The afternoon started with an informative farm walk led by the James and Tom Stobart.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017


Research Surveying the health of Scottish deer Moredun, in partnership with Edinburgh University and the deer industry, is in the early stages of a deer health project funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Food Standards Scotland. The Scottish Deer Health Survey aims to establish the prevalence of E. coli O157, Cryptosporidium and chronic wasting disease in Scottish wild deer through screening faecal and tissue samples collected from deer carcasses. The project aims to fill knowledge gaps identified following a serious human outbreak of E. coli O157 in 2015 which was linked to

would benefit from having this verified, along with information on which stages of venison processing carry higher risks of E. coli contamination. The survey will help inform current best practice guidelines for the processing of carcasses and is considered vital if the industry is to continue to grow and develop. In addition to the E. coli focus, by screening for other conditions such as chronic wasting disease and Cryptosporidiosis the survey will help build up a fuller picture of the health and welfare status of the Scottish deer population allowing the industry to make informed management decisions. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a progressive fatal neurological disease which affects most species of wild and farmed deer.

Photo | Hannah Shaw

processed wild venison products. E. coli causes

gastro-intestinal disease in humans with potentially serious health consequences. Cattle are considered the major reservoir of this bacteria; however other ruminants such as sheep, goats and deer can also be a source of infection. Transmission to humans can occur as a result of direct or indirect contact with E. coli containing ruminant faecal material. For example by handling animals, through exposure to soil or vegetation contaminated by faeces, or from contaminated water or food. In the case of food of animal origin, contamination can occur during milking (milk and dairy products) or during the slaughter process (for meat and meat products). We suspect the prevalence of E. coli O157 is actually very low in Scottish wild deer, but the growing venison industry

We suspect the prevalence of E. coli O157 is actually very low in Scottish wild deer, but the growing venison industry would benefit from having this verified

The project aims to establish the prevalence of E. coli, Cryptosporidium and chronic wasting disease in Scottish wild deer.


Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017

Photo | Dick Playfair


Deer stalkers are helping to collect samples for the Scottish Deer Health Survey.

Although it has not been reported in the UK

The survey is part of the larger project -

to date it has devastated some deer stocks in

The Risk of STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli)

the US and has recently been detected in deer

Contamination in Wild Vension - funded by the

populations in Scandinavia.

Scottish Government and Food Standards Agency

Previous studies at Moredun have however

which aims to inform policy recommendations

identified a high prevalence of Cryptosporidium

arising from the current VTEC/E. coli O157 Action

parvum in deer populations on a local basis,

Plan for Scotland 2013-2017, and to inform future

particularly when they co-graze with cattle.

recommendations to local authorities from

As well as being of high economic importance

Food Standards Scotland. For information about

to UK cattle farmers the waterborne parasite

this project please contact Tom McNeilly

also infects humans and is therefore of high

( or Beth Wells

public health significance. The Scottish Deer


Previous studies at Moredun have identified a high prevalence of Cryptosporidium parvum in deer populations on a local basis, particularly when they co-graze with cattle.

information as to the prevalence and species of Cryptosporidium present in the wild deer population Scotland wide, but will also allow us to see if deer populations can be used as

Photo | Circamedia

Health Survey will not only yield important

an indicator of the level of environmental contamination. A large number of samples have already been received following the recent stalking season and scientists at Moredun are busy processing the samples for screening. We would like to thank the deer stalkers, land owners and managers, approved game handling establishments and the Association of Deer Management Group for their support of this survey. Red deer stag.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017 11

News Moredun & RHASS collaborate RHASS have worked collaboratively for many years and we look forward to building on this foundation to support the industry through research, education and travel.” Ian Duncan Millar, Chairman of the Moredun Foundation added: “Moredun are

delighted to be extending the successful partnership we have had over the years with RHASS with this new collaboration, which will benefit the members of both organisations, as well as the wider livestock industry, by sharing knowledge and developing joint initiatives.”

Alan Laidlaw, Chief Executive of RHASS.

Moredun are delighted to strengthen their working relationship with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS) following the announcement of a new associate member partnership. Commenting on the partnership, RHASS Chairman, Jimmy Warnock said, “The Moredun Research Institute is a respected research organisation that provides a valuable service to the industry. We believe this will be of great benefit to our members. Moredun and

Moredun on Film Scientists at Moredun have been stepping in front of the camera recently for two film projects looking to highlight how research outputs from the Scottish Government’s Strategic Research Programme are making a difference to society.

in September to capture Moredun’s research contribution to safeguarding food safety through the prevention and control of key zoonotic pathogens. In October, Moredun’s Dr Beth Wells returned to the Cairngorms National Park to film a piece for the new SEFARI (Scottish Environment Food Agriculture Research


‘My Food, Our World’ is a series of short films

Institutes) showcase film. Highlighting key

and digital content showcasing how research

projects from Scottish Government funded

is contributing to Scotland’s Good Food Nation

research - such as Beth’s work on a whole

bill. Funded by a SEFARI Gateway initiative

catchment approach to controlling the

and led by Rowett Institute, the project aims

waterborne pathogen Cryptosporidium -

to reach a wide range of audiences with

the film will illustrate the diverse and

informative and interactive content from all

important work of the six institutes within

institutes involved. A film crew were on site

the SEFARI collective.

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017

Film crew with Moredun scientist Kevin Mclean.


Introducing the NEW Moredun Member Portal As part of our commitment to improving our online resources and communication channels, we were delighted to launch a new and improved online area for our members alongside the revamp of the Moredun website.

We are on the lookout for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals within the livestock industry to become Moredun Regional Advisors in the following areas: North of Scotland, South of Scotland, North of England and South of England.

The Moredun Member Portal replaced the old online area and contains new features,

Our advisors act as ambassadors and help us

such as webcasts and online member

promote our work through regional initiatives

updates, as well as online access to our magazines and disease newssheets.

Become a Moredun Regional Advisor

and complete the short registration form. We hope you find this new member

If you haven’t done so already, why not register for this additional

resource useful. Please do let us know your

membership benefit today? Please visit

feedback as we look to continue to build

capacity in this area going forward.

and partnerships. They are also invaluable in keeping us up to date with livestock health issues in their local area. If this sounds like the role for you then we would love to hear from you. Please email us to request further details:

2017 Christmas Card and Gift Range Christmas is now just around the corner, and we are delighted that The Moredun Foundation have a selection of Christmas gifts and merchandise for sale to members and supporters this year. Further information can be found on our website

Moredun Magazine | Autumn/Winter 2017 13

The Moredun Foundation is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland No. SC151865. The Moredun Foundation is a charity registered in Scotland, No. SC022515. Address: Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland, EH26 0PZ.


Profile for Moredun

Moredun magazine issue 14  

Autumn/Winter 2017 edition of the Moredun Magazine

Moredun magazine issue 14  

Autumn/Winter 2017 edition of the Moredun Magazine

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