Academic wins award for farm animal research
Dr Dey Tarusikirwa receives Young Development Agriculturalist Award
A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) vet has won an industry award for his research into the reproductive health of African farm animals.
Dr Dey Tarusikirwa, an animal husbandry lecturer, was presented with the Young Development Agriculturalist Award for his research on reproductive health of farm animals in Zimbabwe and its potential application to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Each year the Tropical Agriculture Association (TAA) presents awards to honour contributions to agricultural development as a means of promoting food security, poverty reduction and environmental sustainability in developing countries.
Dey, who teaches on the bioveterinary sciences programme and will be part of the academic team for the flagship Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery degree, received the TAA award at the Farmers’ Club in London last week.
He said: “I feel really honoured and I’m very excited to win this special award. I didn’t know that my research would have such an impact so for it to be recognised in such a way is amazing and makes me proud.”
"I feel really honoured and I’m very excited to win this special award"— Dr Dey Tarusikirwa, UCLan animal husbandry lecturer
As well as being a major revenue source for farmers, sheep and goats (known as small ruminants) are also used for household food and nutritional security. His research focussed on three zoonotic causes (germs that spread between animals and people) of reproductive failure in small ruminants - brucellosis, toxoplasmosis and chlamydiosis.
Firstly; their epidemiology in communal land areas of Zimbabwe, secondly; assessing the awareness and risk perceptions of smallholder farmers towards these zoonotic causes of abortion in farm animals, and thirdly; obtaining a general overview of the impacts of farm animal reproductive losses to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
His research unearthed the need for a coordinated One Health approach to increase public awareness of these diseases, and to establish effective surveillance and control measures.
Dey’s inspiration to become a vet came when he was a child and his pet dog fell ill. After being told the vet couldn’t help the much-loved animal, he decided to find out as much information as possible about the dog’s illness.