THE Farmers’ Union of Wales has welcomed the ambitions of a new £4.2 million pound veterinary school that was launched recently.

The vet school, led by Aberystwyth University, is a state-of-the-art facility with high specification laboratories and offices which will support businesses throughout the livestock supply chain and other allied industries.

The school was boosted by a £3 million fund from the European Regional Development fund.

Speaking after the launch, FUW senior policy officer Dr Hazel Wright said: “We welcome this significant step forward in protecting and improving animal health in Welsh livestock.

“The launch of this multi-million pound vet school represents significant research and development into animal health issues of importance to the Welsh farming sector.

"It is hoped that the centre will provide an integrated approach to disease diagnosis and elimination.

“This an exciting opportunity for the farming sector and we remain keen to work with members of the school to help safeguard livestock health, identify industry priorities, reduce losses and improve livestock performance through better health.”

The FUW has repeatedly expressed concern about the shortage of large animal veterinary practitioners in Wales and the union is therefore pleased to see the launch of this centre of veterinary expertise in mid-Wales.

“Alongside providing research into livestock health, we hope that the programme will increase the veterinary skills base available to our members and will ultimately raise the number of veterinary professionals in Wales,” added Dr Wright.