Plans to close Defra Veterinary Laboratory in Aberystwyth

More public sector jobs are under threat in Aberystwyth following the recent revelation that the Defra Veterinary Laboratory on the Buarth has been earmarked for closure.

The Prospect trade union has revealed that the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) has submitted proposals to the Westminster Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman MP, which would see both Aberystwyth and Carmarthen laboratories closed by April 2013.

Ceredigion's Assembly Member Elin Jones AM said:

“I’ve long suspected that a move to close the vet lab at Aberystwyth was on the cards but those closure plans have been resisted until now. Losing good science-based jobs will be a big blow to Ceredigion.

“In Aberystwyth there is a longstanding expertise in agriculture and land-based jobs with the University and IBERS, but this would be eroded by the closure of the vet lab.

“Closing both the labs at Aberystwyth and Carmarthen will leave Wales without any such facilities. Given the high livestock numbers in Wales, the work carried out in these Defra centres is essential in the fight to eradicate animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth, Bovine TB and Bluetongue”.

The closure would mean people having to go to Shrewsbury for the service in future. There's been no local consultation on the proposals and seemingly no consideration of how the closure might affect the local area. Aberystwyth can't afford to lose another key public sector facility with the knock-on effects for the wider local economy.