New EU-backed veterinary facility at Aberystwyth to ‘drive forward research’ - Veterinary Practice
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New EU-backed veterinary facility at Aberystwyth to ‘drive forward research’

THE Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths, has unveiled plans for a new £4.2 million “state-of-the-art veterinary hub” which will “drive forward research to protect both animal and human health”.

The Vet Hub 1 project will be led byAberystwyth University with £3 million funding from the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh government. The facility will have a “fully-equipped, high-specification laboratory and office spaces”.

Speaking at Aberystwyth University’s education pavilion at the Royal Welsh Show at the end of July, the Environment Secretary said: “This EU-backed investment will help tackle some of the great challenges of our time, food security, climate change as well as the Welsh government and Aberystwyth University’s long-term focus on supporting animal health and veterinary science.

“It will also unlock a range of opportunities over the coming years for businesses throughout the supply chain, and in associated industries which will benefit from the new facility and collaborative research opportunities leading to the development of new products and services for the global market.”

Developing Improvements

  • Researchers at Vet Hub 1 will collaborate with the industry in developing vaccines and tests with the aim of reducing livestock losses and improving general animal health, and in particular developing solutions for animal-borne diseases that could pass to humans. Further development of veterinary practices and other animal healthcare as well as biotechnology, animal food manufacture and other allied industries will also take place at the new facility.
  • Professor Elizabeth Treasure, vice-chancellor of Aberystwyth University, commented: “The facility heralds another step forward in the development of Aberystwyth as a centre for veterinary expertise. Our discussions with the Royal Veterinary College are progressing on proposals to offer a joint programme whereby veterinary science students at Aberystwyth can spend some of their time studying at the RVC and students from the RVC can come here to undertake aspects of their training, particularly large animal practice.”
  • Aberystwyth University has secured a further £650,000 investment from the Centre of Innovation Excellence in Livestock for an animal sciences facility working alongside the new hub. Responding to the announcement, BVA Welsh Branch president, Sarah Carr, said: “The focus of the £4.2 million initiative on improving animal health, disease surveillance and eradication, food security and veterinary science is most welcome… R&D income for veterinary science to the UK totals £55 million a year.

In BVA’s Brexit principles, we clearly outlined the importance of maintaining the UK’s access to EU partnership R&D, or similar pan-European funding, and initiatives like this prove exactly why, offering innumerable benefits to Wales, the UK and wider world.”

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