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Plant and Animal Health

Plant and Animal Health

SEFARI provides the research needed to improve the efficiency and resilience of Scotland’s food production systems whilst protecting the environment and our rural communities. SEFARI works on improving our crop production systems, and reducing the impacts of plant disease. For livestock, work on animal characteristics and health and welfare leads to more efficient livestock production, which in turn reduces waste, lowers greenhouse gas emissions and improves global food security.

Sector Contact

Case Studies

26 Nov 2020

Developing a"Genetic Scorecard": A World-first for Scotland

The following case study summarises a SEFARI Think Tank involving the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and Scottish Natural Heritage.

30 Oct 2020

Antimicrobial resistance: bringing Scottish expertise together to find the solutions

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global, immediate and ongoing concern to human health.

21 Oct 2020

The search for crop pathogens Achilles heels

Plant pathogens trigger changes in host plants that allow them to cause disease.  Understanding which molecules pathogens use to do this (termed effectors), how they allow infection to take place, and how they are detected by plants has important implications for our understanding of plant disease.  

6 Oct 2020

The impact of sustainable cropping on soil-borne diseases – a focus on Rhizoctonia solani AG3

The Centre for Sustainable Cropping (CSC) is a long-term experimental platform established to integrate all aspects of sustainability research on arable ecosystems. The CSC allows us to study crop management at a more integrated and system wide level and compare this to conventional crop husbandry practices.

11 Sep 2020

Approaches to reducing potato waste by improving home storage and minimising greening

Potato is the number one wasted household food by weight, estimated at over 700,000 tonnes and with a cost of £555M per annum in the UK. Nearly half of the fresh potatoes bought by UK householders are thrown away.

25 Aug 2020

Making Worms Squirm: Sustainable Worm Control in Lambs through Precision Livestock Farming

Electronic identification (EID) tags have been compulsory in UK sheep flocks since 2010, and a decade after their introduction, can still be a controversial topic.

10 Jun 2020

Nematodirus battus: Is it likely to spiral out of control?

Farming practices are evolving in response to intensification, diversification and climate change. As farm management has changed, pathogens of livestock have also adapted to optimise their reproduction and transmission opportunities.

14 May 2020

Pigs and Poultry Optimising Production

With support from the SEFARI Gateway Responsive Opportunity Fund, Moredun Research Institute (MRI) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) jointly organized and hosted an

7 Feb 2020

Tail biting in pigs: developing a machine vision early warning system for farmers

Tail biting affects growing pigs in Scotland and around the world and has no simple solution. It begins in a sudden and unpredictable way, then spreads through a group.

4 Nov 2019

A Test is Best: A New Sheep Scab Blood Test Helps Control Disease on the Isle of Mull & Iona

Sheep scab is a highly contagious disease caused by infestation with the mite Psoroptes ovis. It is endemic in the UK, notifiable in Scotland and has significant economic and welfare impacts.

3 Jun 2019

Barbervax®: giving blood-sucking parasitic worms a taste of their own medicine

This case study is part of a series focusing on the importance of sustained funding for fundamental and strategic research. The first in this series summarises the research behind Barbervax®: a vaccine for the Barber’s Pole Worm, Haemonchus contortus.

6 Mar 2019

Climate Change and Parasitism – Breaking the Cycle

This case study will summarise ongoing research on Teladorsagia circumcincta, one of the most common and economically important endemic parasites to control in sheep in the UK.

17 May 2018

Science and Innovation:The Nutrients for Growing a UK Blueberry Industry

Blueberries have gained in popularity amongst UK consumers. Currently UK blueberries supply only 5% of demand and there is a huge opportunity to increase home grown supply. 

1 Feb 2018

Bluetongue Virus spreads by evading immune-response in sheep

Arboviruses are transmitted by biting insects and cause disease in animals and humans. These viruses are spreading due to increased globalisation, international trade and travel and climate changes. Among these is bluetongue virus (BTV) transmitted by midges and causing fatal disease in sheep.

17 Nov 2017

Taking the Bull By the Horns: Helping Eradicate Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD) from Scotland

SEFARI scientists make a significant contribution to the Scottish Government’s BVD Eradication Scheme. We inform this scheme through our unique and multi-disciplinary approach that uses epidemiological, economic, social science and molecular science to explore the wide-ranging implications of BVD.

17 Nov 2017

A Vaccine Cocktail for Worms: Innovative Responses to the Threat of Chemical Resistance

SEFARI scientists are engaged in long term research into the detection and management of anthelmintic (wormer) resistance and the development of practical strategies to help slow its spread.

3 Nov 2017

Exploring the Genetic Diversity of Barley: Insights for the Future from One of the World’s Oldest Crops

We used the next generation of genomic approaches to sequence the DNA of barley to improve our understanding of this cereal’s wide-ranging adaptiveness.

Blog

29 Oct 2020 - 12:11

Anthelmintic resistance – can we stay ahead of the game?

Sustainability and food security are two terms that are commonly used in relation to the UK agricultural sector.  In a changing climate, there is a need to reduce the impact of endemic diseases on livestock health, welfare and productivity.

28 Aug 2020 - 11:28

Informing & influencing public opinion towards supporting UK livestock farmers

In this blog, we discuss a new project that is seeking to support and inform farmers (through both research and communications) on how to best promote fair, balanced, and more impactful, positive stories about the livestock industry. 

18 Aug 2020 - 09:27

One Health in Action: Setting up a new testing node for COVID-19 with the NHS

Across SEFARI we are using our capability and continuing to make our expertise available to assist with national and regional strategies dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Events

2021

21 Apr

A3 SCOTLAND Conference

A3 Scotland is an inaugral not-for-profit conference for the Animal Health, Agritech and Aquaculture (AAA) sectors to encourage innovation, investment and collaboration.