Three projects led by the University of Liverpool have received more than £1.4 million to lead research in the fight against livestock diseases, which provide significant challenges to the farming and agricultural sector.
Academics from the University’s Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences have secured the government funding with projects including:
- Genetic and management solutions for lameness-associated endemic diseases in dairy cattle. Led by Professor George Oikonomou, the funding will allow investigators to significantly advance their expertise in this area and will be supported by a number of key industry partners. Ambitions for the project are to achieve widespread and rapid impact via an extensive knowledge exchange programme underpinned by implementation science research.
- Delivery of rapid diagnostic tests for sustainable control of parasitic diseases in sheep and cattle. Led by Professor Diana Williams, the project will allow farmers to identify infected sheep and cattle, and target treatment directly at those that most need it. This work is particularly important given the problems associated with resistance to medicines used to control parasites and changing global climates.
- The UK produces more than 13 billion chicken table eggs a year. With the University’s industry partners, this study – led by Dr Kannan Ganapathy – will provide key scientific evidence for sustainable egg production in UK free-range flocks. The work will also explore the interactions between farm practices, flock coinfections and immunity to maintain better poultry health and welfare.
Professor Matthew Baylis, executive dean of the Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences at the University of Liverpool said: “At the Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences we’re dedicated to leading the way in veterinary science research to benefit people, animals and ecosystems, nationally and globally.
“This funding allows us to continue our work in these priority areas and create real solutions to real-world problems.”