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SEFARI collaborative research awarded 2019 3Rs prize

Poultry red mites are a global problem for the egg industry
“We are delighted to have contributed from our side to the success of this work with our Moredun colleagues. It demonstrates once again the benefits of interdisciplinary research, and in particular of thoughtful and effective experimental design and data analysis to promote the optimal use of animals in scientific research.”

A research paper co-authored by Moredun Research Institute and Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS) scientists has been named as joint winner of the 2019 3Rs prize, a prestigious award which recognises work that has had a major impact on the replacement, reduction and refinement of the use of animals in research.

The study, led by Dr Francesca Nunn from the Moredun Research Institute, describes an optimised device to improve the testing of treatments against poultry red mites, reducing the number of hens used in field trials.

Poultry red mites are a blood feeding ectoparasite. They are a global problem for the egg industry, affecting the welfare of laying hens through irritation and anaemia. Mites are controlled using chemicals, however, repeated use has led to resistance and recent research efforts have focused on developing vaccines and novel biopesticides.

BioSS researchers Javier Palarea and Giles Innocent made key contributions to the design of the experiments and data modelling leading to the refinement of the prototype on-hen feeding device.

Dr Javier Palarea commented: “We are delighted to have contributed from our side to the success of this work with our Moredun colleagues. It demonstrates once again the benefits of interdisciplinary research, and in particular of thoughtful and effective experimental design and data analysis to promote the optimal use of animals in scientific research.”

The 3Rs Prize is awarded annually by the UK’s National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), a scientific organisation dedicated to replacing, refining and reducing the use of animals in research and testing. The awards are sponsored by GSK, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

BioSS, formally a part of the James Hutton Institute, is recognised internationally for work at the interface between the quantitative sciences and a wide span of applied sciences. It specialises in methodological development and applications of statistics, mathematical modelling and bioinformatics to enhance scientific knowledge and increase the impact of research in agriculture and the rural economy, the environment, food and health.

Scientists from BioSS have also recently published a research commentary in Veterinary Record about general principles and guidance to support better statistical practice in animal studies.

Moredun Research Institute and BioSS are members of SEFARI (Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes), a consortium of six globally renowned research institutes. As SEFARI, these institutes deliver the Scottish Government funded Strategic Research Programme, which addresses key mid to longer-term challenges for Scotland’s environment, agriculture, land use, food and rural communities.

Paper: Nunn F. et al. (2019): A novel, high-welfare methodology for evaluating poultry red mite interventions in vivo. Veterinary Parasitology 67:42-46 doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2019.01.011

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, James Hutton Institute, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/poultry-research-co-authored-bioss-scientists-awarded-2019-3rs-prize on 24/11/20 09:25:09 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.