THE full development of an advanced sheep reproduction centre at Fordell Firs has been completed.

The location, near Hillend, will become the first in Scotland to offer the service, which includes improvements to flock reproductive potential and preservation of genetics.

Newly-launched 3 Bridges Vets had first proposed the change of use of an existing agricultural building in May 2022, with full permission agreed in October.

Dr Hannah McKerrow, the firm's director, explained their specialist service in a planning statement: "3 Bridges Vets will offer advanced sheep reproductive services including semen collection, analysis and processing, laparoscopic artificial insemination, multiple ovulation embryo collection and transfer services.

"These services allow genetic gains within the sheep flock, improvement of overall flock reproductive potential and efficiency, and preservation of valuable livestock genetics.

"As well as allowing the export of sheep genetics via embryos and semen worldwide."

The agent for 3 Bridges had added: β€œThe embryo transfer and AI operation is akin to an outpatient procedure. It is still surgical but, effectively, sheep come in on the day of the procedure and then depart. As it is surgery by way of implantation you need the animal to be present.

"For surgery, the animal is placed in a special cradle to assist in holding and orientation for the surgical process."

The construction of the centre promised the creation of 14 full-time roles by the end of the company's first year, including vets, vet nurses, vet care assistants, animal nursing assistants, and administrators.

As well as offering farm animal services, the clinic will also cater to household pets and horses.

The purpose-built facility includes designated waiting areas – separating cats and dogs – as well as two consultation rooms, treatment and diagnostic areas, and hospitalisation.

Work on the centre was completed in January and full planning approval was given on condition that it is used as a joint advanced sheep reproduction and veterinary centre and not solely as a vets.

They were also told to create adequate parking and vehicular access arrangements, including 15 parking spaces, within one month of permission being granted.

Fife Council accepted the completion of the development on December 23 in accordance with planning permission.

3 Bridges Vets is open on an appointment-only basis Monday-Friday from 8.30am until 6pm and Saturdays 9.30am-12pm.