By Eileen Devaney and Jenni McIntyre, University of Glasgow
The Royal Highland Show (RHS) is Scotland’s premier showcase for farming and rural affairs, attracting some 180,000 visitors. It takes place over four days in June (this year 23rd -26th) at the Royal Highland Centre just outside Edinburgh. The RHS includes judging rings where a huge variety of livestock breeds are exhibited and compete for ‘best in show’ (see below) and many other competitive activities such as sheep shearing and show jumping to name a few (http://royalhighlandshow.org).
Exhibitors come from many different areas and it is possible to purchase everything from a hot tub to a combine harvester or jar of jam! In addition to the shopping areas there are many exhibitors from the agricultural sector and several from academia. Each year the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine has a stand and this year the BUG consortium was represented, as well as a variety of other research projects associated with the Vet School.
The BUG Consortium had a small display explaining the problem of anthelmintic resistance in sheep worms and a game for children (or adults) to play that reinforced the idea that while all worms in a sheep may look similar, some will be resistant to a given drug while other worms may be killed by the same drug.
To this end, the children were invited to “fish” for worms using a magnetic rod to demonstrate that while some worms (magnetised) could be removed from an animal, others that appear the same (but were not magnetised) could not be removed. Rewards included a jelly worm!