Animal exams to move to new Midlothian base

Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik
Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik

From June 15, vets and farmers in the Lothians will no longer send animals for post-mortem examinations at the Allan Watt building on the Bush Estate, near Penicuik.

This is the final step in relocating the Scotland’s Rural College local disease animal disease surveillance service to the new £1.6 million Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory on the nearby Pentlands Science Park.

The new SRUC Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory centralises technology and expertise, which means faster, more reliable and more efficient diagnoses of livestock animal diseases for the whole of Scotland.

SRUC consulted on changes to the service with farmers and veterinary practitioners, including representatives from NFUS, at a forum in February.

George Caldow, head of SRUC Veterinary Services, said: “Animal health is vital for a thriving rural economy I want to assure the farming community that they will still be receiving excellent support and advice.

“Our move to the Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory provides us with an opportunity to gather expertise and technology together to deliver a disease surveillance service that is looking towards the future.

“Improved diagnostic techniques mean we no longer have the same need for a dedicated post-mortem room. Instead, we want to shift our focus to a more positive way of working with veterinary practices to support the diagnosis and the control and prevention of disease.

Ultimately, this will be to the greater benefit of livestock producers and their animals they care for.”

Farmers are being encouraged to follow best practice and speak to their farm vet about any animal health concerns. SRUC’s Animal disease surveillance team will be working with local vets on a case-by-case basis to organise post-mortem sampling on site or at examination at another SRUC post-mortem facility.