Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has spent a morning meeting staff, students and patients at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) Beaumont Sainsbury Animal Hospital (BSAH) in Camden, London.

As patron of the Animal Care Trust (ACT) – the RVC’s registered charity – The Duchess visited the college yesterday (February 26) to see how funds raised by the charity help provide equipment for the college’s hospitals, assistance to the college’s research teams and support the commitment to excellence in veterinary education.

As an animal lover, The Duchess became Patron of the ACT in 2005.

This is her third visit to the RVC since 2005, but the first in which she has visited the Camden campus.

During the tour of the BSAH, The Duchess saw how donations from the ACT have helped to purchase laparoscopic surgical equipment, enabling the hospital to provide cutting-edge keyhole surgery for routine neutering procedures, while bringing welfare benefits to the animals and allowing students to develop their first-day skills needed in veterinary practice. Neutering is a standard, but essential, procedure routinely undertaken at the BSAH.

The hospital also offers a subsidised neutering service, generously supported by the Jean Sainsbury Animal Welfare Trust, for clients on low incomes.

The Duchess also met the specialist exotics team who work with some of London’s more unusual pets.

Part of a newly launched Small Animals Referral Service based at the BSAH, the treatment of exotic animals requires specialist equipment, for which ACT donations are invaluable.

Stuart Reid, principal of the RVC, said: “The generous donations to the ACT are invaluable in helping us deliver the best possible care to our patients and world-leading veterinary education to our students.

“We were delighted to welcome The Duchess of Cornwall to our teaching hospital in Camden so she could see just how much of an impact these donations have on the work we do.”

As well as spending time in the hospital the tour also took in the RVC’s anatomy museum where the head of anatomy service at the college, Andrew Crook MBE, demonstrated how an investment from the ACT in plastination facilities is helping the college preserve valuable anatomical samples in a form that can be handled by students without fear of decomposition.

The visit finished with a reception, where supporters and donors of the trust, as well as some of the college’s students, had the chance to meet The Duchess.
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