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Warwick wins over £600,000 to research crucial sheep disease

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) Animal Health Research Club (ARC) has today, Friday 27th March 2015, announced a range of new research projects to improve the health of livestock. This includes the award of £601,861 to Professor Laura Green and Dr Kevin Purdy from the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick and Professor Matthew Keeling from the School of Life Sciences and the Mathematics Institute at the University of Warwick, to study the issue of Footrot in sheep.

Professor Laura Green, Head of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick said:

“Footrot is very common in sheep in the UK, affecting more than 95% of sheep flocks. Footrot is caused by Dichelobacter nodosus, a bacterium that causes inflammation of the skin of the foot which leads to lameness. Using swab samples collected from the feet of sheep kept under different managements, the study will determine which molecular factors in Dichelobacter nodosus and which managements in sheep are most important in disease progression and how these lead to disease spread and persistence, informing on potential approaches to improve flock resilience to the disease."

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC Executive Director, Innovation and Skills, said: "By targeting these livestock diseases the Animal Health Research Club projects have the potential to protect farmed animals and food supplies and save UK farmers and the wider economy millions of pounds a year.

“The Club shows that the public sector and private industry can work together to fund and support excellent research tackling important research challenges.”

 For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Director of Press and Policy University of Warwick
Tel UK: 024 76523708 office 07767 655860 mobile Tel Overseas: +44 (0)24 76523708 office +44 (0)7767 655860
Email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk

PR75 27th March 2015