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Animal Health Trust

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Animal Health Trust
FounderWR Wooldridge CBE, FRCVS
Dissolved31st July 2020
FocusHorses, dogs and cats
  • Kentford, Newmarket
Area served
Veterinary medicine
Key people
Peter Webbon, CEO

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) was a large national independent charity in the United Kingdom, employing over 200 scientists, vets and support workers. Its objectives were to study and to cure diseases in companion animals (horses, dogs and cats), and to advance the teaching and practice of veterinary art and science. It was founded in 1942[1] by Dr WR Wooldridge CBE, FRCVS, and was awarded a Royal Charter on 29 July 1963. The Queen was the charity's patron from 1959[2] until the end of 2016,[3] and the Princess Royal is its president. Based in Newmarket in Suffolk, it was a registered charity under English law[4] and received no government funding. Following fundraising issues exacerbated by the Coronavirus pandemic, the charity was forced to close its doors and enter liquidation on 31 July 2020

Principal activities

The AHT:

  • Develops new knowledge and techniques for the better diagnosis, prevention and cure of disease
  • Provides a clinical referral service
  • Promotes post-graduation education
  • Communicates its findings to others.

The AHT has a range of means of achieving these objectives. It combines them, where appropriate, for best effect. These are grouped under three main headings: Research, Education and Veterinary Services.


Research can be broken into two key areas: inherited disease and infectious disease. Inherited disease research includes genetics, oncology and stem cell. Infectious disease includes bacteriology, virology, immunology and equine epidemiology and disease surveillance.


The AHT is involved in the provision of education and post-graduate training. Its clinics run active internship and residency training programmes. The Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme has also expanded in recent years.

The AHT publishes papers detailing its research and clinical findings in journals and online, for the veterinary and science professions. It also has its own open-access library. Housing journals, publications and findings, it is available for use by anyone studying animal health.

Veterinary services

The Animal Health Trust's veterinary clinics provide referral services to small animal and equine veterinary practitioners. It has two clinical centres: the Centre for Small Animal Studies and Centre for Equine Studies. It also offers diagnostic laboratories and DNA testing services.

Both clinics have active clinical research programmes. Together with the diagnostics and DNA testing services, the clinics work closely with its research teams to further scientific developments and achievements. Both clinics are core to fulfilling its educational objectives.

The above activities are underpinned by the AHT's fundraising and central support teams. Central support incorporates directorate, finance, information technology, human resources and estate and premises management.[citation needed]


The AHT was founded in 1946 as the "Veterinary Education Trust" by Walter Reginald Wooldridge; it was renamed the "Animal Health Trust" in 1948.[5]

Following fundraising difficulties and issues aggravated by the Coronavirus pandemic, the Animal Health Trust entered liquidation on 31st July 2020 after almost 75 years in existence


  1. ^ "Animal Health Trust". BBC. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  2. ^ Hoey, Brian (2013). "Appendix 1: Royal Animal Patronages". Pets by royal appointment: the royal family and their animals. New York: Biteback Publishing. ISBN 9781849546492.
  3. ^ "Queen steps down as patron of children's charities". BBC News. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 2017-04-24. Other organisations which will be seeking a new patron include... the Animal Health Trust...
  4. ^ Charity Commission. Animal Health Trust, registered charity no. 209642. accessed 14 February 2019
  5. ^ Hannant, D (1993). "Scientific publications from the Animal Health Trust at Newmarket 1942-1991: a veterinary record". The British Veterinary Journal. 149 (1): 9–19. doi:10.1016/S0007-1935(05)80207-6. PMID 8439802. accessed 14 February 2019

Further reading

  • Onslow, Richard (1992). A History of the Animal Health Trust.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 February 2021, at 14:04
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