In March 2020 the Animal Health Trust (AHT) announced that following a period of dire financial constraints, and with the economic implications of Covid-19 having a direct effect on funding and operations, the AHT was facing imminent closure. Since then the Trustees and Executive Committee have been working to save the unique work undertaken at the Trust.

In order for the AHT to go forwards it needs to have a viable business model that demonstrates that it can be self-financing and therefore can attract the short-term funding required to take it from the current dire financial position to that future viable model as quickly as possible.

The Trustees have concluded that if the charity is to continue, and it remains uncertain that the funding can be found to make that possible, the only viable option is for it to revert to its core purpose of providing world-renowned veterinary and scientific research for the benefit of companion animals.  As a result, subject to consultation, the Trustees are proposing to close the AHT’s two referral practices: for small animals and horses.

Steve Shore, Trustee at the AHT, said: “The work at the Animal Health Trust is truly unique and being told that the referral clinics could be closing and there is no longer a job for you is a terrible prospect and especially difficult for our teams of dedicated vets, nurses and support staff all of whom take so much pride and care in looking after their patients and owners.  But we must make difficult decisions to create a possible future for the AHT.

We also need to do this right, which means we will work closely with our employees and representatives, as appropriate, and going through a formal consultation process with everyone affected.”

Steve Shore added: “The Animal Health Trust was founded nearly 80 years ago by Dr W Reg Wooldridge who wanted the charity to promote veterinary research and prevent suffering in companion animals.  The Trustees believe in making this difficult decision the AHT will continue to have this vision at its heart and will give it the best chance of future success.”

Due to the need to consult with our employees and representatives, we are not providing further details or comment at this time.