The centre is close to many scientific research centres including Pirbright, the Animal and Plant Health Agency, Public Health England and the National Physical Laboratory.

The facilities will focus on pathology research, education, surveillance and commercial activity. The university said the centre will work closely with the veterinary and scientific community to address some of the challenges associated with farm animal health surveillance.

The centre will also have close links with medical professionals through the NHS Surrey Pathology Service and a comparative pathology clinical academic group.

The centre is part of the new school of veterinary medicine at the university and is staffed by a team of board certified veterinary pathologists, veterinary investigation officers and technicians, with expertise in farm animal, equine, exotic and small animal pathology.

The new building centres on a large containment level two post mortem examination room with high ceilings, natural lighting, post mortem examination tables, biological safety cabinets and integrated cold rooms all served by a powerful winch system. This means that post mortem examinations can be performed on a range of species. A viewing gallery overlooks the suite and the latest digital technology can be used to record and stream post mortem examinations for training purposes.

Professor Roberto La Ragione, director of the veterinary pathology centre, said: “Veterinary pathology is a growing discipline and its importance has been highlighted in recent disease outbreaks and the important role veterinary pathologists make in drug development. Helping the farming community to be more effective, sustainable and innovative, the centre will work with partners, businesses and researchers to address some of the unique challenges faced by the veterinary and scientific community.”