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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Plaid puts forward Vet College case to FUW

Elfyn Llwyd MP on Friday (13/3/09) joined Plaid Cymru’s Ceredigion Westminster Candidate, Penri James, on a visit to the Farming Union of Wales’s headquarters in Aberystwyth to discuss the need to establish a Veterinary College in Wales.
Penri James launched his campaign to establish such a college – ideally at Aberystwyth to compliment the University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) – during Plaid Cymru’s 2008 autumn conference.

As Leader of the Plaid Cymru Westminster Group, Elfyn Llwyd MP has also tabled an Early Day Motion in support of the growing campaign.

At present, students are forced to train to become vets outside Wales despite the importance of the agricultural industry.

Following their meeting with the FUW, Penri James said:

“Since I launched my campaign last September, there has been growing support for a vet college to be established in Wales. Given the importance of agriculture both locally in Ceredigion and throughout Wales as a whole, today’s meeting gave a suitable opportunity to discuss my campaign with the FUW and highlight how the farming community would benefit from a local vet college.”

Plaid Cymru’s Elfyn Llwyd MP added:

“I was very glad to be able to join Penri during his visit to the FUW to discuss his proposal to establish a veterinary college for Wales. As a national organisation, the FUW had a particular interest in this campaign and I hope that they will now lend their support so that this project can develop further”.


The Half-Blood Welshman said...

The only thing I would say against establishing a Veterinary College in Aberystwyth is that it is very remote. While, as a college in a rural area with the IGER institute tacked on it might seem ideal, it might be difficult to arrange work experience (read - student practice) for the students.

I appreciate that's something the Department of Education seems to have more or less sorted, but maybe it would be as well to check with them whether it is often raised as an issue.

As a final thought, it is not altogether a coincidence that all the major veterinary training schools in England and Scotland are in the big cities - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Nottingham, London and Bristol (and of course Cambridge, although a fairly small city) rather than, say, Ambleside or St. Andrews - and it is for this very reason.

However, I agree Wales needs a college to do veterinary work, and if you can come up with convincing reasons why it should go to Aber or Swansea, good luck!

Penri James said...

Half Blood Welshman - Veterinary training has been restricted for far too long by the Royal College and is probably one of the most regulated professions. Ther are both supply and demand arguments for expanding training, more vets required, more diseases, the development of Universities and development of Wales as a nation. I have an article in the Institute of Welsh Affairs Journal 'Agenda' which covers this in greater detail.