Animal Health

The Highlands and Islands provide an opportunity for Life Sciences companies to expand their presence in a location with a well established supply chain. There is a breadth of work in animal health across the region from academia, public sector and industry with expertise ranging from aquaculture (marine and freshwater) to farm and domestic animals.

Across this spread of organisations there is a range of state of the art facilities. Inverness Campus and the European Marine Science Park provide a focus for collaboration across the sector.

SRUC’s Epidemiology Research Unit is based at Inverness Campus. Its ground-breaking work contributes to animal and human disease control worldwide. Its interest in zoonosis focuses on Lyme borreliosis, Vero cytotoxin-producting Eschericia coli, and Toxoplasmosis.

As the only dedicated veterinary ophthalmology centre in the North of Scotland, Scottish Vet Referrals offers a unique service to this area.
“Our custom-made facility on the Inverness Campus is the ideal base for us. Being located here is also an exciting opportunity to collaborate with academics and research scientists.” Tony Wall, Ophthalmologist: Partner.



The Highlands and Islands is home to the majority of Scotland’s world-renowned aquaculture industry and the country now has a global reputation for science, technology and research that underpins this key industry.

Aqua Pharma Ltd, part of the Aquatic Concept Group based in Norway, supplies the Scottish aquaculture industry with innovative treatments for the control of parasites.
“Our key product is Paramove, a licensed therapeutant for treating sea lice. We work collaboratively and invest in research and technology to provide effective treatment solutions.” Neil Crawford, Managing Director

A range of academic expertise supports the industry in the Highlands and Islands:

  • Marine Environmental Research Laboratory at Machrihanish in Kintyre is one of the largest and best equipped marine aquaculture research facilities in Europe. The facility provides contract research services and hire of facilities to industry and academic institutions, and supports research and teaching at the Institute of Aquaculture (University of Stirling).
  • Through UHI’s Lipodomics lab, based at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness, joint work is ongoing with University of Stirling’s Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).  The Lipodomics Research Facility carries out lipodomic and proteomic analysis in fish and algae and has particular expertise in fish proteomics, protein turnover in fish and lipid analysis of algae.
  • The Rivers and Lochs Institute, Inverness College UHI develops and delivers bespoke research, education and training to support management for change and adaptation in freshwater biodiversity. “We use molecular genetics to learn more about the nature of biodiversity in freshwater ecosystems. This helps to inform actions and tools for managing them,” Professor Eric Verspoor
  • The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) near Oban has particular expertise in the farming of seaweed, the interaction between aquaculture and the environment and the development of more sustainable and profitable fisheries.
  • NAFC Marine Centre UHI in Shetland.

HIE and SAIC also offer funding to small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) to support the development of products and services in the aquaculture supply chain.

For more information on animal health and aquaculture please read our animal health brochure and the Inverness Campus focussed leaflet.