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The original ADRA bus. Two men stand next to it, wearing wellies
A black and white photo from around the 1930s of a scientist wearing a lab coat, sat at a bench looking through a microscope
The ADRA bus behind a tent with a sign saying "Animal Diseases Research Association"
An ADRA stand in a field with men standing around outside it, wearing suits

2020 is the year we celebrate Moredun's centenary.

From our humble beginnings in the 1920s as the Animal Diseases Research Association based in Moredun, Edinburgh, to the major research hub we are today at the foot of the Pentland hills, our ethos has remained the same: to work in direct partnership with the farming community and address their needs with regards to livestock health and welfare.

These pages will collate all of our news, events and exciting projects surrounding our centenary year.




1st September: "Moredun Foundation’s 100 years of research into livestock diseases" - Article published in Sept/Oct issue of Edinburgh Life Magazine

27th August: An innovative approach to Equine Grass Sickness research as a new Fellowship is funded

3rd July: OnFARM podcast special chats to Moredun

16th January: Professor Julie Fitzpatrick talks to BBC Scotland about Moredun's centenary

Centenary film


Simon Cousins Media Ltd was commissioned to make a film that would be our centrepiece for our 2020 Centenary celebrations. The film charts the history, scientific breakthroughs and ethos of the organisation set up by Scottish Farmers to find treatments, cures and vaccines for diseases affecting farm livestock health and welfare.



Outreach bus and mobile laboratory

When Moredun was first established in the 1920s, some of the work was carried out on board a refurbished bus that housed a mobile laboratory. The bus became something of an iconic image for Moredun over the years, and so we are pleased to announce that it is making a comeback in celebration of our Centenary in 2020... With a few updates!

The new bus will be used for outreach events where mobile technology will be taken out to the field, onto the farm and into schools. Our aim is to educate the wider public about our research and to promote the benefits of raising livestock with a high level of health and welfare.






UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2020 - We're pleased to announce that the new Moredun mobile laboratory and outreach bus has now been completed! It is parked up at its new home outside the Moredun Research Institute, ready to go on the road in 2021 and beyond.




Follow our progress on our blog: The Moredun Bus: Science in the Field

OnFARM podcast

In Moredun's hundredth year, OnFARM's Monty is learning about the history and heritage of this little-known Scottish success story over the course of a 6-episode podcast mini series.


Episode 1: Moredun's 100 years of livestock health

In 1920, a visionary group of Scottish farmers came together to work out how to cut alarmingly high rates of livestock losses. Together, they formed ADRA - the Animal Diseases Research Association. These days, it is still owned and run by farmers, but is better known as the Moredun Research Institute for animal health. Many of the vaccines and treatments now routinely used on UK sheep and cattle were developed by Moredun scientists


Guest speakers:

  • Prof Julie Fitzpatrick - Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute & Chief Executive of the Moredun Foundation
  • Mungo Guthrie - Board Member and Ayrshire sheep farmer
  • Professor Lee Innes - Director of Communications
  • Dr Lynsey Melville - Early Career Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Dr David Smith - Early Career Postdoctoral Researcher


Listen to "Moredun's 100 years of livestock health" on Spreaker.


Episode 2: Moredun on the cutting edge

The Moredun Research Institute has come a long way since it was set up by Scottish farmers in 1920, in a bid to cut devastating livestock losses. Monty hears how its latest breakthrough has revolutionised farming practices as far away as South Africa and Australia - and how researchers are even playing a crucial role in the fight against Covid-19.


Guest speakers:

  • Al Nisbet - Head of Vaccines and Diagnostics
  • Tom McNeilly - Head of Disease Control
  • Mara Rocchi - Head of the Virus Surveillance Unit
  • Jessica Allport - Merino sheep farmer in New South Wales, Australia


Listen to "Moredun on the cutting edge" on Spreaker.


Episode 3: Moredun's Centenary: you're invited to a celebration

You're on the guest list for a (virtual) drinks reception to celebrate 100 years of Scotland's Moredun Research Institute. Just press play to attend, enjoy the (virtual) free booze and canapes, and mingle with the great and the good of livestock science.

Guest Speakers:

  • Sheila Voas, Scotland's chief vet
  • Nigel Miller, former NFU Scotland president and co-chair of Farming for 1.5 Degrees
  • Phil Stocker, chief executive of the UK National Sheep Association
    Katrina Barclay, RHET executive officer and RHASS board member
  • Bridget Taylor, Cheshire veterinary partner and Moredun Foundation Board Member
  • Rachel Hall, recent recipient of a Moredun Foundation grant to study veterinary science in the USA

Episode 4: Passing the baton: the Moredun chairmen chat

We're rounding off 2020 by eavesdropping on a chat between the Moredun Foundation's outgoing chairman Ian Duncan Millar, and his successor Gareth Baird. Ian chose to retire at the end of 2020 so he could end on the high point of a year of centenary festivities. Alas, this was not to be. But we hope this episode (particularly a surprise right at the end) will be a nice memento. From all at OnFARM, happy retirement Ian, and best of luck Gareth!


Listen to "Passing the baton: the Moredun chairmen chat" on Spreaker.

Episode 5: Equine Grass Sickness: Her Majesty's Balmoral losses and a push for a cure

Her Majesty the Queen's Balmoral estate lost 5 Highland ponies in less than a year to Equine Grass Sickness. The disease is almost always fatal to horses, and seems to affect Scotland worse than other parts of the UK. Sylvia Ormiston, who manages Her Majesty's Balmoral stud, recalls the five losses, and describes how it prompted her to get more involved in searching for a cure. We also meet Grass Sickness fundraiser Yvonne Maclean, while Beth Wells from the Moredun Research Institute details new efforts to find a cure. For more on funding and supporting a cure for Equine Grass Sickness, please visit: www.grasssickness.org.uk


Listen to "Equine Grass Sickness: Her Majesty's Balmoral losses and a push for a cure" on Spreaker.

Episode 6: HRH The Princess Royal supports new research Fellowship to investigate Equine Grass Sickness

Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal officially launches a research drive to study Equine Grass Sickness, an often fatal disease of horses. The Moredun Foundation and The Equine Grass Sickness Fund have joined forces to launch a three-year research Fellowship, bringing together a partnership of horse owners and scientists. HRH The Princess Royal is patron for both charities.


Listen to "Princess Royal launches Equine Grass Sickness research drive" on Spreaker.

Science Stories


In celebration of 100 years of research and education, we are publishing a special series of 'Science Stories' written by Prof Julie Fitzpatrick, Moredun's Director.

Science Stories - Vol. 1

In Volume 1 of our very special centenary "Science Stories", we cover some of our greatest work in recent time:

  • Malignant Catarrhal Fever (MCF)
  • Poultry Red Mite vaccine development
  • Enzootic Abortion in ewes
  • Foodborne Pathogens
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Sheep Scab


Science Stories - Vol. 2

We contine our journey through key research carreid out at Moredun over the years in Volume 2. 

  • Liver and rumen fluke
  • Vaccine studies for Teladorsagia circumcincta and Ostertagia ostertagi
  • Progess towards eradication of BVD Virus in Scotland
  • Johne's Disease
  • OPA - 'Jaagsiekte'
  • Developing a 'food safety' vaccine for E.Coli 0157
  • Moredun's role in the past, present and future in livestock vaccines and diagnostics


Science Stories - Vol. 3

We contine our journey through key research carreid out at Moredun over the years in Volume 3. 

  • A Tale of Two Squirrels
  • Anthelmintic Resistance - The Worms Are Turning!
  • A Novel vaccine for Pasteurellosis Pheumonia in Ruminants
  • Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies
  • Neosporosis - A Major Cause of Abortion in Cattle
  • Smart Sheep for Smarter Farming
  • Moredun's Role in the Past, Present and Future of Livestock Disease Control


Science Stories - Vol. 4

Final edition of our journey through key research carreid out at Moredun over the years in Volume 4. 

  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Barbervax
  • Moredun's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Louping Ill
  •   Controlling Immunity
  •   All Creatures Great and Small
  •   One Health


News sheets


In celebration of 100 years of research and education, we are making some of our news sheets publicly available that would normally only be accessible to paying members of the Moredun Foundation:

Sustainable parasite control: Test, don't guess!

Parasite infections are an economic as well as an animal health and welfare concern in livestock systems. Many are endemic in the UK, and in this factsheet we explore the control of three major parasites: liver fluke, roundworm and sheep scab, focusing on their sheep and cattle hosts.


Equine Grass Sickness: A research update and look to the future

Grass Sickness is a devastating disease of horses, ponies and donkeys in which there is damage to parts of the nervous system which control involuntary functions, producing the main symptom of gut paralysis. The Moredun Foundation Equine Grass Sickness Fund (EGSF) is the only registered charity in the UK raising funds specifically for research into Grass Sickness.

Research Fellowships


In our Centenary year we are very keen to fund raise to develop new opportunities for early career researchers with a passion and interest in finding new solutions to combat livestock disease through research, innovation and knowledge exchange.

We will be setting up various initiatives to help us towards this goal and if you would like to help or find out more about the project please do get in touch with us at: [email protected] or [email protected]

More information about Moredun's Research Fellowships

Upcoming events (2021)

Check back here in the new year for updates about events for our "Centenary +1" celebrations.