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Is this the end for the Animal Health Trust?
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The Animal Health Trust (AHT) looks set to close its doors for good unless it can find last-minute emergency funding.

The charity has faced a period of ‘dire financial constraints’ but its problems have recently been compounded by the economic implications of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.

As a result, the organisation, which has been a leading veterinary and scientific research centre since 1942, announced last month that it would have no option but to close.

Currently its trustees and executive committee are seeking emergency funding and a final decision regarding the long-term future of the trust is expected to be made next week.

Meanwhile, the trust has closed its offices until further notice and has stopped carrying out laboratory testing and canine DNA testing. It is uncertain if these services will resume.

Vet Record understands the news came as a complete surprise to staff, who were devastated to receive an email with the announcement late on a Friday afternoon.

A spokesman told Vet Record that, as things stood, the charity had not closed down. Rather than making staff redundant, the majority were currently furloughed under the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.

The charity is not appealing to the public for donations.

At this point we need considerable sums, and additional longer-term funding

‘At this point we need considerable sums, and additional longer-term funding, if we are to continue and we feel it would be disingenuous if we took donations from the public now,’ the spokesman said.

However, if a company was interested in helping the AHT, it can contact the trust at info@aht.org.uk, he said.

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