Plans to establish a centre of veterinary excellence in Wales have won the backing of the Welsh Government, the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and Aberystwyth University (AU), where the centre could be located, according to current proposals.
“Veterinary education for Wales has long been a topic of discussion and this is an ambition now being realised,” said the Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary for environment and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths (pictured above).
She was speaking after the signing of a memorandum of understanding to explore the developing of a joint venture in veterinary medical training and research in Wales, focusing on farming and livestock science.
While a final report on the feasibility of the project isn’t expected to be ready until August 2017, the proposed centre is already being seen as having more than just a Welsh-based remit.
“We share the ambitions of the veterinary profession, Welsh Government and the farming industry to secure and enhance animal health in Wales and beyond,” said AU vice-chancellor for research, and project leader, Professor Chris Thomas.
“We also believe Wales needs a model for vet training and science that not only emphasises production animal veterinary medicine but also integrates veterinary service provision, agricultural science, rural community wellbeing, economics and environmental sustainability. Developing this vision in partnership with the RVC is very exciting indeed.”
British Veterinary Association president, Sean Wensley also welcomed the development, commenting that good animal health and welfare depends on veterinary surgeons receiving the right training, skills and knowledge from the outset of their career.
“The establishment of a hub of veterinary expertise and excellence in Wales will utilise existing resources and provide high quality training opportunities that aim to meet the current and future veterinary needs of Welsh agriculture,” he said. “It will also enhance current RVC veterinary training while at the same time safeguarding animal health and promoting animal welfare.”