SRUC has announced new livestock post-mortem arrangements for vets and farmers in the Lothians.

From June 15 this year, animals being sent for post-mortem examinations will no longer go to the Allan Watt building in the Bush Estate, near Edinburgh. but will relocate to the new £1.6 million Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory on the nearby Pentlands Science Park.

This new SRUC lab is intended to centralise technology and expertise, to provide faster, more reliable and more efficient diagnoses of livestock animal diseases for the whole of Scotland.

Making this announcement, SRUC stressed that it had consulted on potential changes to its disease surveillance service with farmers and veterinary practitioners, including representatives from NFUS, at a forum in February.

Head of SRUC Veterinary Services, George Caldow, 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 tests and techniques mean we no longer have the same need for a dedicated post-mortem room near Edinburgh," said Mr Caldow. "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 the 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.