HRH The Princess Royal has attended a special event at the Moredun Foundation, in the Pentlands Science Park, to celebrate 100 years of excellence in animal health research.

Set up by farmers for farmers, the Moredun Foundation is one of the largest livestock charities in the UK and Moredun is known throughout the world for its work in prevention and control of infectious diseases of livestock through research and education.

Princess Anne, Patron of the Moredun Foundation for over 30 years, congratulated the organisation for all its achievements in developing innovative and practical solutions to prevent and control infectious diseases of livestock on the farm, and emphasised the importance of communicating new science effectively to bring its benefits to as many people as possible.

The other speakers at the event included Mungo Guthrie, who spoke about the unique relationship between farmers and scientists that has been Moredun’s strength over the years; Dr Peter Nettleton MBE, who gave his perspective of starting as a veterinary virologist over 50 years ago at Moredun; Dr Francesca Chianini who talked about the power of pathology in understanding the causes of disease; Dr Alasdair Nisbet, director of Research and Innovation at Moredun, who talked about the past and future of vaccine development; and Dr Kathy Geyer, a new research Fellow at Moredun, who talked about a new project to find the cause of Equine Grass Sickness.

The Princess was invited to unveil a plaque to commemorate Moredun’s Centenary by the chairman of the Moredun Foundation, Gareth Baird, who said: “We are delighted and honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal to this special event to celebrate the contribution Moredun has made to the livestock industry over one hundred years and to look to some of the exciting new developments going forward.

"Science and research is needed now more than ever to help combat disease and improve the health of animals, people and our environment and I am confident that Moredun will continue to deliver practical science solutions to make a significant impact not only in UK but across the world."

During the visit, The Princess Royal met guests including a group of post-graduate students and early career scientists along with those representing the farming industry, veterinary surveillance, land managers, government and policy groups, Moredun Scientific and Pentlands Science Park and the Equine Grass Sickness Fund.

Her Royal Highness also participated in a private tour of Moredun’s laboratories to speak first-hand to the scientists involved in developing 3D organoid cultures and those involved in collaborating with the NHS to provide extra capacity for SARS-CoV-2 PCR testing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before leaving, the Princess opened the new Moredun Mobile Laboratory and Education bus that was designed and built to celebrate Moredun’s Centenary – in a nod to Moredun’s past, when the first mobile laboratory was commissioned in 1926 to conduct epidemiology work on farms in Scotland.