Beef cows and sheep in pasture© Rex

More than £6m of funding has been allocated by the Animal Health Research Club (ARC) to improve livestock health in the UK.

The money will be used by the ARC, whose members include the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, to fund eight projects that aim to improve the health of livestock.

They include investigations into the genetics of porcine respiratory syndrome virus (PRRS), resistance to cryptosporidiosis in cattle and inflammatory processes in sheep foot-rot.

See also: Neospora added to cattle health scheme

Representatives from Bpex, DairyCo and Eblex will sit on the steering group, alongside academics and representatives from industry, to decide how the funding should be allocated. These decisions are based on the industry relevance and scientific excellence of proposals.

“The projects that have been selected by the steering group are key to us understanding more about the resistance to pests and diseases in farmed animals,” says Kim Matthews, Eblex head of research and development.

“We’re really excited about the latest projects as widespread health problems in the UK sheep flock, such as worms and foot-rot, are costly for farmers. The research will help the industry develop the next steps to reduce the incidence of these diseases.”