Orkney farmers enter animal health partnership with Moredun

ANIMAL HEALTH research powerhouse the Moredun has announced a partnership with the Orkney Livestock Association.

Under the terms of the tie-up, OLA members will get access to research outputs, knowledge, skills and expertise generated at Moredun, targeted to improve animal health and welfare and increase the sustainable efficiency of livestock production.

The partnership will allow OLA members access to Moredun’ full range of technical newssheets, and will also promote working together on joint events and initiatives. It will mean that OLA members will be eligible to apply for the annual Moredun Foundation Award Scheme and would be able to contact the research institute directly to get further advice on particular disease issues.

The MRI is 100 years old this year, and currently has over 12,000 members from the farming, veterinary and animal health community and farmers sit on its governing boards.

Orkney is represented by well-known retired vet Willie Stewart, who is the chair of Moredun’s North of Scotland Regional Advisors Board. Through Mr Stewart’s initiative Moredun has taken part in several meetings and farm events on Orkney. Beth Wells, from Moredun, said: “Through these meetings we have been fortunate to meet many of Orkney’s livestock farmers, who are well known for their high quality beef production and we are delighted to be developing a closer working collaboration with OLA, which will be of huge benefit to both of our organisations.”

Mr Stewart commented: “The Moredun Research Institute is a world leader in the development of livestock vaccines, animal disease tests and control plans. I believe that OLA representing the cattle industry in Orkney can have a strong association with Moredun in the future.”

OLA is a farmer-led organisation aimed at improving the health of Orkney’s cattle herds, officially launched in February 2001 with a programme to eradicate BVD, followed in 2008 by a Johne’s eradication scheme. OLA is a sub-group of HiHealth Herdcare which is a national cattle health scheme. OLA’s Karen Johnston commented: “We are delighted and very honoured to give our members the opportunity to benefit from expert information and support from such a prestigious and well respected organisation. We are looking forward to seeing how this partnership progresses and the benefits it brings to Orkney farmers.”