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22 July 2016

Summer vaccinations and the need for CPD in our industry

While others are jetting off on holiday, the summer period is one the busiest for Scotland’s fish farming industry when it comes to vaccinations

The summer months are undoubtedly one of the most important periods for the UK’s salmon producers as they strive for optimum fish health. MSD Animal Health’s* fish health specialists have been working with Scotland’s top 5 producers over the past few months to ensure that plans are in place to support their summer vaccination programme. Effective pre-planning with both the farmers and the vaccination teams allows us to ensure that adequate supplies of vaccine are available.

We’ll also collect the data from across farms in Scotland to assess the effectiveness of this summer vaccination programme. MSD will use that data to provide detailed analysis and feedback to our customers individually, to ensure that year on year, we learn lessons and best practice to further enhance fish health management.

We’ve also commissioned a number of videos for those working on farms which demonstrate best practice across all stages of the vaccination process. The videos made their debut at our trade stand at May’s Aquaculture UK conference in Aviemore and have been sent out to more than 200 industry experts across Scotland with the aim of sharing the most effective and efficient vaccination techniques and aftercare to ensure optimum fish health.

MSD remains committed to continuing professional development in the industry and we have extensive global expertise in fish health management. As well as our vaccination videos and following our successful fish health seminars across Scotland earlier this year, we are arranging for a small delegation of Scottish industry experts to travel to Iceland in August as part of their CPD, to see how industry colleagues in that part of the world approach fish health management as well as exploring other best practices.

We’re also developing an industry wide survey that will seek to gather examples of best practice and industry knowledge on a range of focus areas. The findings will influence how MSD delivers its products and services in the future, as well as highlighting any bottlenecks or gaps in provision or education, so we can learn from each other as an industry going forward.

It’s an important time for the industry. Demand for fishery and aquaculture products remains strong with consumption per capita increasing. It’s more important than ever that we continue to work together to do all we can to deliver optimum fish health – not only because it delivers positive results for producers but also because we can deliver a quality and nutritious product to dinner tables across the globe.

The signs are good for the industry here in Scotland, especially in light of fish health challenges in other parts of the world. MSD has experienced a productive year so far with uptake of our PD3 vaccine going well to meet producers’ demand, as the industry recognises the importance of tackling health issues head on.

Only through continued hard work and the sharing of best practice can the industry continue to grow and prosper.

* known as Merck Animal Health in the United States and Canada.