A bovine TB centre of excellence for Wales will open at Aberystwyth University later this year, bringing international expertise together with the aim of eradicating the cattle disease.
Glyn Hewinson, a world-renowned expert on bovine TB, will lead the centre’s work.
Prof Hewinson is lead scientist for bovine TB at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (Apha) and has led research into the disease for more than 20 years.
The centre will cost £3.6m and is backed by Sêr Cymru II, a Welsh government-, EU- and university-funded programme to grow and develop academic research expertise in Wales.
In numbers: the cost of the project
The £3.6m project is funded as follows:
- Aberystwyth University – £0.6m
- Office of Chief Veterinary Officer – £1m
- Welsh government and European Regional Development Fund – £2m
The centre will be a hub for national and international research into bovine TB. The programme also aims to commercialise the products it develops, collaborating with industry on products, such as new diagnostic tests and vaccines.
A ‘game changer’
Announcing the programme, Wales’ rural affairs secretary, Lesley Griffiths, said the centre could be a real “game changer” in the fight against bovine TB.
“Bovine TB is the most pressing animal health challenge for Wales today. It’s had a devastating impact on the national cattle herd and the farming community, while being a significant burden on public finances,” Ms Griffiths added.
Christianne Glossop, Wales’ chief vet, said: “Professor Hewinson is a pioneer in the field of research into bovine TB and will bring with him world-class expertise and leadership.
“He is held in the highest regard among his peers internationally and his appointment is a real statement of intent in our determination to tackle this disease.”