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12.07.2021

Protecting against parasites - Scotland's Farm Advisory Service

Moredun were asked recently by SAC’s Farm Advisory Service if we’d be prepared to do a piece to camera on ‘Parasites and Climate Change’ for their newly-launched FAS TV YouTube channel. This gave us an excellent opportunity to showcase the work we’ve been doing at the Institute’s farm at Firth Mains.

There are climate change adaptation and mitigation aspects to parasitism. We need to adapt to climate change, in terms of changing parasite prevalence, seasonality and geographic spread, but also to mitigate the impacts of parasitism on animal health and efficient livestock production.

Monitoring is a key aspect of this, through appropriate diagnostic testing so we know what’s normal, what’s changing etc., so ‘Test Don’t Guess’. Protecting our animals from changing parasite challenge is also key, with a long-term research focus at Moredun being the development of anti-parasite vaccines.

The segment featured short ‘talking heads’ interviews with Principal Scientists, Philip Skuce and Fiona Kenyon, describing some of the parasites we encounter in Scotland, including Nematodirus  and liver fluke, but also a demonstration of how we might mitigate their impact through optimising anthelmintic treatment using Precision Livestock Farming and Targeted Selective Treatment approaches.