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THE number of Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) regional centres carrying out laboratory testing in Great Britain could be cut by more than half over the next 18 months under plans drawn up by the agency.
According to the trade union Prospect, which drew attention to the plans in a press release last week, the proposals have been put to Caroline Spelman, the secretary of state at Defra. It warns that ‘farmers and farm animals will be the losers’ if the government goes ahead with the plans, which would also result in scientific jobs being lost.
Under plans, the AHVLA's laboratory services work would be carried out at eight centres – the regional centres at Penrith, Shrewsbury, Starcross, Bury St Edmonds, Sutton Bonington and Newcastle, and the central facilities at Weybridge and Lasswade. Laboratory work currently undertaken at the AHVLA's centres at Thirsk, …
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