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UK's Moredun Foundation for animal health and welfare celebrates 100 years of research and education

18 March 2020

The Moredun, located just outside Edinburgh, celebrated its centenary on 17 March.

This world leading organisation is dedicated to promoting the highest standard of animal health and welfare through research and education. Set up by farmers, for farmers this unique research facility has led to the development of many of the vaccines, diagnostic tests and disease prevention and control strategies used on farms today.

Professor Julie Fitzpatrick CEO Moredun Group said, “Moredun focuses its research on infectious diseases of livestock and wildlife species, especially those which are endemic, or common, diseases which adversely affect the efficiency of production and animal welfare. The organisation has developed scientific expertise in studying the viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause disease and the animal species they infect. We are proud of our long history of delivering practical tools and solutions to ensure safe, high quality food from livestock and look forward to continuing our important work”.

Moredun started as the Animal Diseases Research Association in 1920 and at that time was the only society of its kind in the UK. A committee composed of representatives of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, the Scottish Chamber of Agriculture and the Farmers Union of Scotland drafted a constitution and the initial objectives were to: “research infectious diseases of livestock and to apply available knowledge to farm practice”.

The ethos at the Moredun is to apply innovative science to develop solutions to control infectious diseases and to ensure that any advances in new technologies and knowledge are communicated effectively with those that can benefit from them. This unique relationship between farmers and scientists has helped to drive innovation and combat infectious diseases of livestock across the world.

Ian Duncan Millar Chairman Moredun Foundation said, “It was on this day, 17 March 1920, exactly 100 years ago that a public meeting was held in the chambers of the Royal Agricultural Society of Scotland and the Animal Disease Research Association was formed. One of the tenets of the new Association was to “…be in a favourable position to influence stock owners and in this matter science has scarcely penetrated farm practice. It will be an essential part of the organisation to bridge the gap between research workers and farmers”. This is still a central mission of Moredun today and I am very proud of the successes Moredun has achieved in these 100 years and for the foresight of our founding fathers. We have much more to give in the next 100 years and look ahead to new science producing new rewards”.

With the current challenge of Covid-19 virus affecting many people across the world, it is a reminder of the importance of science and technology to develop the solutions required to help combat infectious diseases.

Moredun’s appliance of science is needed now more than ever to help find solutions to many of the major challenges we all face - the consequences of a changing climate, ensuring safe and sustainable food and water supplies, tackling infectious diseases and safeguarding our natural resources. The Moredun scientists are ready to take up the challenge for the next 100 years.



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