Animal Metabolism and Health

Animal facilities enable dairy cow and sheep research on the IBERS farms and upland platform. This includes a specialist sheep housing area, intake and methane emissions monitoring plus newly acquired robot milking units at the Trawsgoed Farm for a herd of 500 cows. IBERS has an equine facility including stabling for 60 horses with 8 in a dedicated research block, and exercise yard. IBERS also hosts the CIEL small ruminant research platform (£1.4M, Innovate UK and Aberystwyth University). IBERS research into the marine environment and ecosystems is supported by aquariacapable of housing fresh or saltwater organisms, and research vessels (fully Maritime and Coastguard Agency coded) including a 6.5m rigid-inflatable boat and a purpose built 10m Cheetah catamaran that can carry up to 12 passengers and crew with associated oceanographic sampling and scientific diving equipment.

VetHub1 is a recent ERDF and WEFO investment of £3M in containment level 2 and 3 facilities for veterinary research in Wales. This will allow academic-industry collaboration in animal health, zoonoses and veterinary diagnostics, and builds on existing parasitological strengths in IBERS as well as the establishment of the £3M ERDF and WEFO funded Sêr Cymru Centre of Excellence for Bovine TB. Aberystwyth is also investing in laboratories adjacent to VetHub1 for the Sêr Cymru team which is being equipped to enable research in immunology and molecular epidemiology through a further £2M ERDF and WEFO grant. This creates state of the art facilities for veterinary research in Wales and complements the establishment of the Aberystwyth School of Veterinary Science. Roboworm is an automated high-content imaging platform enabling the repositioning of existing drugs or the identification of new compounds as next-generation anthelmintics. The platform has a capacity of 100,000 tests per annum and comprises an integrated tissue culture facility, automated compound distribution/washing workstation and high content image analysis system coupled to customised software for segregating drug-induced schistosome phenotypes. This unique system draws together the very latest advancements in instrumentation and dramatically transforms the speed at which new anthelmintics can be identified.