Royal Welsh: New vet school initiative to raise skills base

A veterinary hub tailored to the needs of the Welsh farming and animal health industries is being launched in Wales.

Plans for the £4.2m high-specification laboratory at Aberystwyth University were unveiled at the Royal Welsh Show with a pledge the facility would work with the industry to develop tests and vaccines to reduce losses in the livestock industry.

Researchers will focus on developing solutions for animal-borne diseases that could pass to humans.

Development

The so-called Vet Hub 1 project, led by Aberystwyth University, will also result in further development of veterinary practices and other animal health care as well as biotechnology, animal food manufacture and other allied industries. 

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Speaking at the launch, Wales’s environment and rural affairs secretary, Lesley Griffiths, said the new facility would benefit the farming industry in Wales and the wider world.

“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,” she said.

“It will also unlock a range of opportunities over the coming years for businesses throughout the livestock 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.”

Exchanges

Meanwhile, the vice-chancellor of Aberystwyth University, Elizabeth Treasure, revealed discussions with the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) on an education exchange were progressing.

Veterinary science students at Aberystwyth will in future spend some of their time studying at the RVC, while vet students from the RVC will undergo some of their training, specifically large animal medicine, at Aberystwyth.

It is hoped the programme will increase the number of professionals in veterinary medicine in Wales.