Animal health and aquaculture

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Animal health and aquaculture

Scotland's natural resources and research expertise create the perfect environment for bioscience and aquaculture studies and commercial opportunities.

We're experts in everything from sustainable fisheries and animal behaviour to breeding and pathophysiology. Come work with us.

Scotland: the ideal location for animal and aquaculture research and development

10 things to know about our animal and aqua research.

  1. Scotland has the largest cluster of animal bioscience/aquaculture researchers in Europe, with over 1,000 active researchers
  2. Scotland produces the highest number of research papers in veterinary sciences as a function of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) 
  3. Veterinary science in Scotland wins more than 50% of UK veterinary funding
  4. Almost a third of the UK’s veterinary graduates are trained in Scotland each year
  5. The world’s first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, was created at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh
  6. The Roslin Institute has helped generate annual productivity gains of £247 million through its breeding and genetics research
  7. The Easter Bush Research Consortium is one of the word's largest animal health research groups 
  8. Vaccines used around the world to protect sheep and cattle against common respiratory infections were developed in Scotland
  9. The UK’s largest grouping of human and veterinary virologists is located at the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research
  10. Dictol, the world’s first commercial vaccine against a parasitic disease for cattle, was created in Scotland at the University of Glasgow

Work in a world-leading location for veterinary science

Scotland excels in research and development across animal genetics, therapeutic and vaccine development, diagnostics, nutrition and good animal husbandry.

Scotland offers:

  • Research and development expertise addressing all major commercial species and companion animals
  • Outstanding availability of skills and training across all levels, from technical through to postgraduate and during employment with Continuing Professional Development
  • A growing cluster of innovative companies in animal biosciences
  • Strong links to food producers and excellent integration with Scotland’s successful food and drink industry
  • High-quality infrastructure and R&D support in what is one of Europe’s most supportive environments for businesses

Collaborate with top animal health researchers

Scotland has been very successful at developing strategic and collaborative initiatives both locally and internationally to raise the profile of its animal health research capabilities.

Scotland wins almost 50% of UK veterinary funding and almost a third of the UK’s veterinary graduates are trained Scotland each year. 

Our specialities include:

Genetics and breeding  Selective and directed breeding in all commercial domestic species to improve productivity, meat quality and yield, and innate resistance to disease

Disease diagnosis and pathophysiology – Understanding the pathophysiology of new and emerging infections and parasites to enable the development of novel diagnostic tools to protect animals and humans

Therapeutic and vaccine development – Employing insights into the pathology of infectious diseases to identify and develop novel therapeutics and vaccines to treat a wide variety of existing and emerging pathogens

Nutrition and health – Identification and development of novel feed and feed additives for improving productivity, welfare and the environmental sustainability of domestic livestock

Animal behaviour and husbandry – Understanding how good husbandry links to animal wellbeing and ultimately improved productivity


Join our thriving domestic livestock and companion animals industry

Approximately £1.4 billion in livestock and livestock products is produced in Scotland per year, including beef, lamb, pork and chicken, and eggs, milk and wool.

Scotland has a reputation for producing premium products from traceable sources, and this has helped drive exports of nearly £80 million in red meat and £100 million of dairy products annually. Production is supported by continued investment in innovation in animal biosciences.

Key support centres include:

Work with leading animal nutrition experts

The global market for animal feed is worth $17 billion a year.

Food and feed supplements promote health and wellbeing in domestic animals, which in turn improves the yields of meat/fish, milk and eggs.

Animals also provide human companionship, and pet owners are increasingly keen to invest in the health of these important members of the family.

Scotland has some of the world's leading animal nutrition experts, who can design and manufacture novel feeds as well as run controlled trials to show the impact of the new products.

Man with Scottish salmon

Take advantage of our aquaculture expertise

Salmon farming is by far the most valuable component of Scotland’s aquaculture industry and our 100+ active researchers provide one of the highest concentrations of aquaculture expertise in Europe.

Aquaculture research excellence

  • Genetics of fish and shellfish for developing superior broodstock for farming
  • Pathophysiology and epidemiology of diseases affecting fish and shellfish
  • Research and development of new therapeutics and vaccines for treating diseases
  • Identification, diagnosis and monitoring of emerging pathogens
  • Nutrition for fish health and resistance to disease and sources of more sustainable sources of oil and protein for fish feed
  • Environmental modelling of the impacts of fish farming impacts to guide best practice
Sea loch

Support for aquaculture innovation

The Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC) brings together industry with the knowledge and expertise of Scotland’s research and academic community to find innovative solutions to aquaculture issues.

Highland cow

Looking for animal health companies in Scotland?

We can put you in touch with the right people.

Scotland has a small but growing animal biosciences and specialist breeder company base covering a diverse range of innovative products and services. This is backed by a strong contract manufacturing and service sector across both human and animal health markets.

Search our network of companies