This approach enabled VECMAP to produce the first European risk map for liver fluke, a unique data product which has a range of uses. It is obviously of policy and research interest, as it shows the location of the ecological and climate conditions that the vector prefers. But it has also been used to drive business strategy in the animal health industry. The maps allow businesses which have developed new treatments for liver fluke, to send their sales force to the areas of highest risk, having a fully scientific basis for their efforts.
It was also possible to supplement at the individual farm level VECMAP’s insights with data gathered by drones, which offer resolutions of a few centimetres. This approach allowed hotspots to be identified in problem farms where cattle and snails are especially likely to come into contact. Avia-GIS can then help the farmer to decide what steps might help manage the risk at farm level, perhaps by draining marshy areas of pasture.