ACADEMIC posts are to be axed at London's Royal Veterinary College, threatening research into livestock diseases such as BSE.
The college said that 13 staff - seven academic and related staff and six others including technicians - were at risk. The cuts will hit the college's farm animal operations. Compulsory redundancies will be considered as a last resort.
The institution blames a 12 per cent decline in funding over the past three years for the job losses.
RVC secretary and registrar Alan Smith said that while the college had no plans to close courses, the amount of research into farm animal health could be affected.
Veterinary colleges for years have been trying to get the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the single biggest employer of vets, to put money into veterinary schools with no success. Calls for a ministry of veterinary medicine have fallen on deaf ears.
Mr Smith and RVC principal Lance Lanyon this week met the Higher Education Funding Council to discuss the proposed redundancies and financial problems.