Initiative to tackle animal disease

A major new project to tackle infectious animal diseases was unveiled at a reception at Edinburgh Castle on Monday.

The official launch of the 'Emerging and Major Infectious Diseases of Livestock' project brought together the European Commission, UK and Scottish Government to join up top research on animal health and welfare science.

Speaking at the event, minister for environment Michael Russell said: "I am delighted to welcome the launch of this vitally important project, which aims to improve co-ordination of animal health and welfare research across Europe to help fight the threat of animal diseases."The work of this group will prove invaluable in protecting the livestock industry against infectious disease outbreaks, protecting human health and animal welfare and safeguarding our food supply.

"I hope it will also encourage greater innovation and product development in related animal health industries.

"The excellent quality of Scottish science is held in the highest regard around the world and our leading research base will provide a valuable contribution to this vital project."

The launch meeting of the Emerging and Major Infectious Diseases of Livestock (EMIDA) is taking place in Edinburgh this week.

Core attendees include representatives from UK and Scottish Government, European Commission and the research