The fight against new and endemic livestock diseases will need to be doubled if British farmers are going to meet the future challenges of food security and better animal welfare.
That was the key message at “Global Food Security: Scotland’s Role”, an exclusive networking event at the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh in the company of its patron, HRH The Princess Royal who congratulated scientists for the contribution their research made to providing safe, sustainable food, locally and globally.
Professor Ewan Cameron, head of Glasgow Vet School told the invited audience from the agricultural, veterinary and research sectors that Europe had the capacity to produce more food and be more efficient but a key limitation was animal health.
“If we want to push margins further and further we need to continue our fight against tackling endemic diseases and watching out for new threats on the horizon,” he said “ Because it cannot be food at any price in the developed world - the public wont allow us to do that. Welfare must continue to improve hand in hand with production.”
He said that although Scotland was small in terms of agricultural output it punched well above its weight in terms of knowledge, science and research into animal sciences and animal health.
“Given this talent we’ve got here, there’s so much more we can do with better collaboration between Universities and Institutes and Scottish Agricultural College to make sure we are maximizing our potential.”
NFU Scotland president Nigel Miller, who is also a qualified vet, agreed that scientific knowledge was sometimes being wasted. “We’re not taking it up quickly enough so must work harder at changing our attitude and making the links work,” he said.
Comment on our forum on animal health and welfare