The Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale (CMPS) has provided the first
questionnaire for the rapid assessment of acute pain in dogs in surgical
and clinical settings.
Developed by the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine, the
scale aids clinical
decisions on appropriate pain relief intervention and has been freely
downloaded by over 3,000
clinical users since its launch in 2008. In addition, it has been used
extensively by veterinary
healthcare companies to successfully obtain regulatory approval for
analgesic drugs and in
marketing support materials. The University of Glasgow researchers have
been instrumental in
developing international pain guidelines with the World Small Animal
Veterinary Association, which
represent more than 180,000 veterinarians worldwide, and has thereby
promoted awareness of
pain management in companion animals.
Impact: Policy / animal welfare. Policy implementation changed and
bird welfare improved.
Significance: Our research informed welfare guidelines impacting
upon housing of around 200 million laying birds in the EU. Our work has
been adopted in EC regulations, and they are pushing all EU member states
to ensure all their producers install aerial perches over slatted
Beneficiaries: Laying birds, welfare organisations, egg producers,
and the general public.
Attribution: Prof. Sparks, Dr. Sandilands (SRUC). Involved
collaboration with Prof. Green at Heriot Watt University acting as a
Reach: Guidelines have been adopted in EU legislation.
Research led by Dr Holmes has identified a novel variant of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus
aureus (MRSA) in livestock. This represents a previously unidentified reservoir of infection which
has had impact on the epidemiology of MRSA and its management. This research also impacts on
antibiotic use in agriculture and its role in the emergence of antibiotic resistance. As a
consequence of these research findings commercial tests and testing protocols have been
developed to detect the new MRSA variant, which are now used widely in clinical settings
throughout Europe. The discovery has also been used to inform policy decisions at a governmental
level in the USA and Europe.
Defra-funded research at the University of Bristol showed that the water
bath stunning protocols commonly used in commercial processing plants
resulted in paralysis rather than unconsciousness in chickens during
slaughter. This finding led directly to the modification of stunning
protocols in a European Union Regulation (1099/2009). Their practical
application within slaughter plants has been promoted to the poultry
industry in Europe and worldwide via Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) training
courses that were developed in Bristol. This has ensured that since 1st
January 2013 billions of birds in Europe are now adequately stunned, and
therefore unconscious, before they are slaughtered.
Since its discovery in the 1980s, avian metapneumovirus (AMPV) has spread
in poultry populations worldwide with major adverse health and food
security implications for commercial chickens and turkeys. Research at the
University of Liverpool (UoL) led to the registration of a live vaccine in
1994 which has played a global role in AMPV control, thereby safeguarding
the supply of poultry meat and eggs. Recent research and development at
the UoL has identified key control measures, relating to vaccine
application, vaccine selection, efficacy and safety, which have had a
significant impact on poultry health and consequently, poultry producers
and consumers. In particular, demonstration that live AMPV vaccines can
revert to virulence, that vaccine type applied influences field protection
and that continuous use of a single vaccine can influence circulating
field strains, has resulted in UoL leading policy making with regard to
current AMPV vaccine protocols.
In High Gravity (HG) brewing the substrate (the wort§)
fermented by the yeast is concentrated
from a traditional value of about 12% solids to concentrations of upwards
of 20%. Research (1993-2008)
by Graham's Stewart's team at Heriot-Watt, into the process of brewing
beer and distilling
spirits in a more cost effective and quality enhanced manner led to
substantial improvements in the
HG brewing process, now used worldwide. This allows up to 50% more beer to
be made at the
same plant and reduces distillation costs. In both industries HG-wort
production has allowed very
substantial savings (>£555 million) in capital expansion costs.
§The substrate produced by the mashing of malt and grains — primarily
consisting of fermentable sugars.
Research and knowledge dissemination led by Greenwich on biological
pesticides has made a major contribution to the introduction of novel safe
commercial pesticides based on insect viruses to help farmers overcome the
problems of chemical resistance in major crop pests in Asia and Africa.
Research at Greenwich identified effective virus strains, methods of
production and formulation which were then developed and evaluated with in
country research collaborators before being transferred to local SMEs to
start up production in India, Thailand, Kenya and Tanzania. Greenwich
advised governments on adopting suitable regulation to support the
registration and sale of these novel pesticides.
The way in which UK upland hay meadows are managed and restored to
diversity has been largely determined by research carried out at Newcastle
post-war agricultural production has converted most species-rich upland
hay meadows to species-
poor rye-grass grassland so that today only 1070 ha (hectares) undisturbed
hay meadow remains.
The Newcastle research has been used by Natural England (an executive
body responsible for England's natural environment) to produce targeted
prescriptions for 2500 ha of farmland in northern England and has informed
National Park and
AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) management on best practice for
restoration of hay meadows. The research has ensured the successful
restoration of more than
half of the remaining upland hay meadows in England.
Impact: Animal Health and Welfare, Economics: The BVD vaccine
associated with emergence of BNP was withdrawn from sale.
Significance: BNP cases have been reported worldwide. On affected
farms, the case fatality rate is very high, with losses of up to 5% of
calves in a herd being reported. Despite the vaccine being withdrawn,
cases continue to be found in some calves born to dams that have been
historically vaccinated. In addition, reporting has increased due to
increased awareness and Zoetis subsidising post-mortem examinations.
However, as an indirect measure, the number of cases being diagnosed at
post-mortem at SRUC fell by 42% between 2012 and 2013.
Beneficiaries: Livestock Industry, Animal Health Company, Farmers.
Attribution: Work performed by University of Edinburgh (Penny,
Morrison, Sargison, Bell) and SRUC (Hosie, Howie, Kerr, Caldow) identified
BNP as a new disease entity, elucidated the cause, and developed
strategies to reduce the incidence. This also involved a collaboration
with the Moredun Research Institute (Willoughby)
Reach: BNP is recognised world-wide (a peak of 4500 cases in 2011)
including France, Germany, United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxembourg, Italy, and Spain. The disease is unknown in countries which do
not vaccinate against BVD (Denmark, Austria, and Switzerland)
Impact: Economic, public policy and animal health and welfare:
Selective breeding based upon identification of PRNP genotypes can
eliminate animals that are susceptible to scrapie from the flock.
Significance: UK sheep meat exports are worth >£380million.
Breeding for scrapie resistance protected the sheep industry from similar
damage to that inflicted by BSE on cattle and the UK economy.
Beneficiaries: Farmers, animals, consumers
Attribution: Professor Hunter and Dr. Goldmann (Roslin Institute,
now part of UoE) identified polymorphisms of the PrP (PRNP) gene
linked to scrapie susceptibility and resistance in sheep.
Reach: International, programmes breeding for resistance to
scrapie in sheep are now used in the UK, Europe and USA.