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A look back on the summer season

For fish farmers across the UK, this year’s summer vaccination season presented a number of different challenges as farm visits were extremely limited.

Many businesses needed to find quick solutions and come up with ideas as to how they could adapt so that customers could still be supported, high quality fish could continue to be produced, and the supply chain could remain stable.

To ensure fish farmers continued to receive vital support throughout the period, the MSD Animal Health UK aquaculture team quickly looked at new resources which would help their customers continue with ‘business as usual’.

“Around mid-June, we launched our first ever pre-vaccination training webinars which acted as refresher courses for customers, highlighting best practice techniques to optimise vaccination accuracy prior to the season starting,” explains Liam Doherty, technical and account manager at MSD Animal Health UK.

These webinars were tailored to individual customer requirements, acting as a platform for producers, staff, and the MSD team to share challenges they face and how they overcome these.

As well as pre-vaccination webinars, the team also launched pre-transfer assessment webinars to look at safety aspects of vaccination and to help producers carry out virtual assessments themselves.

“Usually, throughout the summer we’d be carrying out pre-transfer assessments on fish farms across the country. However, with visits limited we explored the possibility of carrying out these assessments virtually,” adds Liam.

“We conducted a trial with one customer using Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp to see how these assessments could work remotely. Using the computer or phone camera, we could watch individuals carry out the pre-transfer audit while it was taking place. As we were watching this live, we were then able to view the footage and write down our local reactions scoring.”

By using this virtual technology, Liam and the team were able to assess how effective the vaccinations were, and what additional resources were needed to improve the process further.

“We’re currently trialling more advanced technology to offer to customers which will support remote auditing,” concludes Liam.

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