CEREDIGION AM Elin Jones has welcomed the announcement that the Royal Veterinary College and Aberystwyth University are to collaborate on plans to set up a Centre of Veterinary Excellence.
The announcement was made on Monday (Jun 13) by Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs at the University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS).
Ms Griffiths announced that Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College (University of London) had signed a memorandum of understanding to explore developing a joint venture in veterinary medical training and research in Wales, focusing on farming and livestock science. Wales does not currently have veterinary education provision.
Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Veterinary education for Wales has long been a topic of discussion and this is an ambition now being realised. This collaboration between Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College is excellent news for Welsh farmers and to the veterinary profession. It will provide a much needed hub of veterinary expertise right in the heart of our longest established university. This project also meets many of our well-being goals, in particular contributing to a healthy, resilient and prosperous Wales .”
Aberystwyth has a long record of excellence in research and teaching in the fields of agriculture and animal sciences. The first teaching in the subject at Aberystwyth began in the 1870s and the Department of Agriculture opened in 1891. This continues to the present day at the award-winning internationally recognised Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) which introduced a new degree in Veterinary Biosciences in 2015.
Established in 1791, the Royal Veterinary College, London is the oldest veterinary school in the English-speaking world. It is also one of the most prestigious, ranked as one of the top three vet schools in the world in the latest QS World University Rankings. It has renowned veterinary medicine and nursing degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate levels as well as world-leading research.
Professor Chris Thomas, AU Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research , who is leading the project at Aberystwyth said: “We share the ambitions of the veterinary profession, Welsh Government and the farming industry to secure and enhance animal health in Wales and beyond. We 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 .”
Professor David Church, RVC Vice- Principal for Learning and the Student Experienc e , who is leading at London stated: “Aberystwyth University is one of the leading Universities in the UK with internationally recognized expertise in animal and agricultural sciences. We believe there are real opportunities at numerous levels for The Royal Veterinary College to work with Aberystwyth in developing a veterinary degree programme tailored to the needs of the Welsh farming and animal health industries. We are both proud and excited to be part of this collaborative venture. “
Professor Christianne Glossop, Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales , said: “A joint veterinary training programme between Aberystwyth and the RVC would be an excellent development for Wales, increasing the number of professionals in veterinary medicine tailored for our needs, and providing a hub of veterinary excellence of direct relevance to Wales.”
Professor Julie Williams, Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales , added: “This is an exciting prospect, not only for veterinary medicine in Wales but also providing a focus for research and commercial development in a sector so important to the Welsh economy.”
Whilst the announcement of the plan was made by the Cabinet Secretary, Assembly Presiding Officer Elin Jones has long campaigned to provide a centre to train vets for Wales in Wales centred at Aberystwyth. In her recent interview with Herald Reporter Rhian Boyt, she discussed Plaid Cymru’s proposals to develop a Veterinary School at Aberystwyth University.
Responding to the news, Elin Jones told The Herald: “I welcome this announcement, and I am pleased that the Welsh Government is backing the next steps towards establishing a fully-fledged veterinary training programme in Wales.
“There’s a shortage of vets who specialise in farm livestock, and so a vet school in Aberystwyth and a centre focusing on farming and livestock science would be a major boost to both the university and the agricultural industry.
“I particularly welcome the decision to explore locating the proposed Centre of Veterinary Excellence in Aberystwyth, and I have no doubt that if established here it will be a major success.
“The University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Science (IBERS) has a long and impressive record in the fields of agriculture and animal sciences, and so I consider Aberystwyth to be an ideal home for a Welsh Centre of Veterinary Excellence.
“The creation of a veterinary training programme has been discussed for a long time in Wales – I am glad that we are now taking tangible steps towards realising this goal, and will look forward to hearing about further progress in the near future.
“This is an important development for Wales, and an exciting opportunity for Ceredigion.”
An FUW spokesman told the Herald : “A great deal of work has gone in to securing this commitment, and we look forward to continuing to work with those involved to ensure the new centre serves the interests of the Welsh livestock and dairy farms which are a cornerstone of our economy.”
Plaid Cymru Shadow Minister for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs , Simon Thomas , has also welcomed the news that Wales’ first vet school is being planned for Aberystwyth. Simon Thomas said that Plaid Cymru had led the campaign to establish a school, and that he was pleased to see it progress.
He said: “Plaid Cymru has long campaigned for a veterinary school for Wales, and I am pleased that the creation of a vet school in Aberystwyth is a step closer. Establishing a Welsh vet school is important in meeting the specific demands of Wales’ predominantly livestock-based farming industry, and addressing the current shortage of vets with these specialisms.
“This has been a long-running campaign and I am pleased that Aberystwyth University and the Royal Veterinary College have taken the initiative to establish the school. Congratulations to them – they have Plaid Cymru’s full support.”
A working group of experts from IBERS and RVC will now design the joint programme and specify new facilities at Aberystwyth University. The team is due to deliver their report to the governing bodies of both institutions by August 2017.
Man sentenced following Tregaron assault
FOLLOWING a report of an assault in Tregaron on Tuesday, April 3, Dyfed-Powys Police has arrested and charged Saul Rownan Henvey, aged 42, of Chapel Street, Tregaron, with common assault.
He was arrested following the incident, for which the victim required hospital treatment.
Henvey appeared before Llanelli Magistrates’ Courts on Friday, April 6.
He received a three month sentence, suspended for 12 months. He was also given a 12 month supervisory order and ordered to undergo 30 days of rehabilitation requirements.
Motorbike safety campaign launched across Wales
A CAMPAIGN aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads is underway across Wales.
As the weather improves police see more bikers on the roads, taking advantage of the beautiful routes across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.
Dyfed-Powys Police is urging motorcyclists to ride safely and warns that until October there will be an increased focus as part of the campaign, named Op Darwen.
Superintendent Huw Meredith, Head of Specialist Operations, said: “Motorcyclists have long been identified as particularly vulnerable road users and reducing the number of road deaths and casualties on the roads of Dyfed-Powys is a priority for our Roads Policing Units.
“We have always welcomed motorcyclists from outside our borders to enjoy the magnificent landscape, but they must be aware that Dyfed-Powys Police is doing all it can to ensure our roads are used safely by all, with our Roads Policing Units taking robust action to prevent fatal or serious road traffic collisions on our roads.
“Everyone must take responsibility for their own and others safety on our roads and be aware of their riding and driving manner. Action will be taken against anyone choosing to ride or drive anti-socially, recklessly or illegally on our roads.
“Our officers see far too many tragedies, many preventable. Roads Policing officers will be out in numbers throughout Dyfed-Powys using a combination of education, engagement and enforcement to prevent further tragedies.”
Officers will also be encouraging riders to improve their biking skills by taking part in BikeSafe workshops, which
offer an insight into what can be achieved with further advanced training. The workshops, run by police forces around the UK, use a mix of discussions, on-road observed rides and information videos. They are designed to enhance the skills of all riders who have already passed their tests and are suitable for all abilities, from the most seasoned rider to those returning to biking after a period of absence.
Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates praised the campaign: “Our roads continue to be amongst the safest in the world.
“However, the number of motorcyclists being killed or seriously injured is still too high.
“Campaigns like this are a key part of a wider range of measures aimed at making our roads safer and preventing future motorcycling casualties. This holistic approach includes ensuring motorcyclists are prioritised in our road safety funding, supporting Go Safe’s operation of speed cameras and funding local authorities to deliver Bikesafe and other motorcyclist training.”
‘Race hate’ case will be heard at Crown Court
A BRYNAMMAN man who allegedly called for all Muslims to be ‘forcibly sterilised and banned from preaching their ‘evil creed’ in a social media post will have his case heard at Crown Court.
It s alleged that 34-year-old Jonathan Jennings posted nine offensive or threatening comments between March and April last year.
These are said to include threatening to ‘Jo Cox’ Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, hailing a man jailed for kicking a pregnant Muslim woman in the stomach as ‘a National Hero’ and suggesting that bombing mosques and ‘putting Muslim on top of bonfires’ were ‘great ideas’.
It is alleged that he said Hitler was born 100 years too soon, and called for Gina Miller to be ‘hunted down and executed’ over her stance on Brexit.
Appearing at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court wearing a blue military greatcoat, purple shirt, and yellow striped tie, Jennings, of Heol y Gelynen, spoke only to give the court his name, age and address.
Jennings’ solicitor said that he would not be entering a plea at this stage.
The District Judge declined jurisdiction, and Jennings was released on bail until May 18 at Swansea Crown Court, on condition that he does not post or repost anything on social media, or create any new accounts.
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