£500k boost for farm animal health in the Borders

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is investing £500,000 to upgrade the veterinary disease surveillance centre in St Boswells.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 12:20 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 12:20 pm
It’s hoped the improvements to the St Boswells centre will help support animal health and livestock production.

It’s claimed that the refurbishment of the centre will extend the life of the building for decades and improve the facilities to support animal health and livestock production.

The works will overhaul the interior and exterior, and upgrade the lab facilities and employee spaces.

The post-mortem room will be upgraded, with a new hydraulic table and a new design of cradle to improve efficiency and safety when examining adult cattle post mortem.

Floor, wall and drainage improvements will maximise hygiene and safety, and new energy-saving lighting will help reduce the carbon footprint of the building.

Based at Greycrook, SRUC Veterinary Services provides animal health diagnostics for livestock across the Borders, Midlothian and East Lothian, and more widely when required.

The St Boswells veterinary team support farm veterinary practitioners in their work to reduce the impact of disease on livestock and also contribute to the collection of disease information that is used nationally to improve livestock production efficiency and animal welfare throughout Scotland.

George Caldow, head of SRUC Veterinary Services, said: “The St Boswells centre is an important part of the national disease surveillance programme helping to improve animal health and support farm production.

“The refurbishment of St Boswells will help secure this service for many years to come and provide a focal point for farm animal health across the region.”

The post-mortem room is now closed for a few weeks while the refurbishment work is carried out.

The veterinary team will provide post-mortem services from an alternative location nearby.

More information has been sent to veterinary practitioners who should be the point of call for farmers.

Scotland’s Rural College was established in 2012 through the merger of the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) with Barony, Elmwood and Oatridge Colleges.

Today, SRUC is on a journey to become Scotland’s enterprise university at the heart of our sustainable natural economy.

Its mission is to create and mobilise knowledge and talent – partnering locally and globally to benefit Scotland’s natural economy.

A spokesperson for the college said: “We draw upon our longstanding strengths in world-class and sector-leading research, learning and teaching, skills and training and consultancy (through SAC Consulting).

“A natural economy is fuelled by responsible use of our natural resources: people, land, energy, water, animals and plants.

"It is an interlinked, shared, living system that creates opportunities and prosperity. It is multi-scale, dynamic and resilient through creative management and mindful custodianship.

“By focusing on the sustainable natural economy, SRUC will strive to lead the way in delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all, in Scotland, and beyond.”