Princess Royal opens new building at Suffolk-based Animal Health Trust

Princess Anne visited the Animal Health Trust in Kentford on Thursday, March 28 Picture: AHT

Princess Anne visited the Animal Health Trust in Kentford on Thursday, March 28 Picture: AHT - Credit: Archant

Princess Anne visited a Suffolk-based animal charity last week to officially open its new head office building.

The Princess Royal visited the Animal Health Trust near Newmarket to open the charity's new head off

The Princess Royal visited the Animal Health Trust near Newmarket to open the charity's new head office building Picture: AHT - Credit: Archant

The Princess Royal visited the Animal Health Trust (AHT) on Thursday, March 28, to open The Wooldridge Building on its site in Kentford, near Newmarket.

Princess Anne, who is president of the AHT, also thanked the teams involved in managing the recent equine flu outbreaks, which caused a six-day horse racing shutdown in February.

The royal met some of the vets and scientists from the charity’s diagnostic laboratory services, epidemiology and disease surveillance and virology research teams who were called upon to provide round-the-clock expert advice and sample testing during the outbreaks.

In just one week, the AHT was responsible for analysing thousands of samples from racehorses, which equated to more than a year’s worth of tests in a few days, to get a full picture of the spread of the highly-infectious strain of equine flu.

Princess Anne, who is president of the Animal Health Trust, unveils the new office and accommodation

Princess Anne, who is president of the Animal Health Trust, unveils the new office and accommodation building Picture: AHT - Credit: Archant

MORE: Suffolk-based Animal Health Trust praised as racing to resume after equine flu outbreak

Princess Anne was accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare Countess of Euston, and hosted at Lanwades Park by the Animal Health Trust’s chief executive Dr Mark Vaudin and trustees of the charity.

Dr Vaudin said: “It was an honour to have Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, visit us and spend time with employees and we were very honoured she was able to open our buildings.”

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Plaques to the new office and accomodation buildings were unveiled by Princess Anne in front of employees and AHT supporters.

The charity’s new office is named after founder Dr Reginald Wooldridge, who established the trust in 1942 with the aim of advancing veterinary research and to develop new techniques and medicines.

Dr Wooldridge’s vision is still at the heart of the trust’s work today, with two veterinary referral clinics on site as well as laboratories where scientists discover cures and treatments.

The accommodation building is named after Dr Keith Barnett, who established the Small Animal Referral Centre’s Unit of Comparative Ophthalmology in 1975.

The building provides accommodation for vets enrolled in the charity’s internship programme, in tribute to Dr Barnett who the trust says “made an unparalleled contribution to canine ophthalmology”.

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