A new service designed to provide support to veterinary businesses in mid and north Wales has been officially launched by Rebecca Evans, Welsh Government deputy minister for farming and food.
Located on the site of the former Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) veterinary investigation centre in Aberystwyth, the new Wales Veterinary Science Centre will initially provide expert post-mortem examinations for farm livestock.
In time, site operator Iechyd Da intends to broaden the range of services offered to include companion animals and wildlife species, as well as to develop a range of laboratory diagnostic services to support disease eradication programmes and to support field practitioners in disease diagnosis.
Mrs Evans said: “I am pleased to officially open the Wales Veterinary Science Centre, which will significantly strengthen and enhance the important contribution the veterinary profession makes to rural life in Wales and raises standards of animal health and welfare. It will also bolster the rural economy by securing technical jobs for the area, benefit the wider economy by supporting our farming communities, and be an asset to the UK by contributing valuable data to the surveillance network.”
The centre was established by Iechyd Da, a consortium of independent veterinary practices in Wales, that was recently appointed by APHA as a third party provider to deliver expert post-mortem examinations of new and re-emerging diseases of farm animals.
Director Phil Thomas said: “Iechyd Da looks forward to building on the post-mortem provision already available so that we can provide a range of services, from running training courses for animal keepers to dissection classes for students, continuous professional development for practising vets, and supporting disease eradication schemes.”
Also present at the launch was Aberystwyth University’s vice-chancellor April McMahon, who said: “The Wales Veterinary Science Centre is an example of integrated, partnership working in areas vital to the Welsh rural economy. It is also a key step towards our ambition of developing a vet school for Wales in Aberystwyth.”