USDA and the United Kingdom's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have partnered for joint research on animal disease prevention.
The two on Thursday announced $2.3 million from NIFA and about $3.5 million from the BBSRC for US-UK Collaborative Animal Health and Disease and Veterinary Immune Reagents program grants.
The partnership addresses animal health issues relevant to both countries.
Research funded through this program will look at the biological and physiological mechanisms in relation to disease prevention in ruminants (cattle, goat, sheep), swine, poultry, equine, and aquaculture species.
Projects in the program will address the development of immune reagents, breeding for genetic resistance to disease, studying the ecology of diseases spread by vector insects, and developing improved vaccines.
NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy said the grants help effectively reduce the health risks and environmental impacts of food production worldwide.
"As a leading livestock producing nation, the health of the people in the United States and around the world depends on the safety, security, and quality of the livestock we produce," Ramaswamy said.
Steve Visscher, BBSRC Deputy Chief Executive, International, said the projects are important in ensuring food for a growing world population.
"This partnership of co-investment between BBSRC and NIFA will allow world-leading researchers in both countries to work together to combat livestock diseases and safeguard food supplies," he said.
The discoveries made through these projects will improve animal health and well-being, enhance production efficiency, and support the safety of animal products by addressing challenges facing animal agriculture, USDA said.