1964 ABRO moved into a new building adjacent to the Genetics Department
(as the Institute of Animal Genetics was now known) on land feued from
the University. The building was shared with the Commonwealth Bureau
of Animal Breeding and Genetics, created in 1929 as the Imperial
Bureau of Animal Breeding and Genetics, one of a network of Bureaux
for the dissemination of agricultural information through the publication
of abstracts, reviews, and monographs. CBABG produces Animal Breeding
Abstracts, and more recently Poultry Abstracts.
The Bureau had, since its foundation, been housed within the now crowded
Institute of Animal Genetics. ABRO and CBABG shared responsibility for
the Animal Breeding Library, initially under the supervision of the
Bureau's Librarian. This arrangement provided ABRO and the University
with use of a first class library while CBABG had access to an unrivalled
concentration of expertise. In 1983 it was decided to concentrate the
Bureaux on a single site at Wallingford in Oxfordshire and by 1987 the
bulk of CBABG had moved south leaving a rapidly shrinking rump who continued
to function in the ABRO building until the end of 1989.
the late 1970's and early 1980's the role of ABRO was reviewed, along
with several other institutes, as part of a fundamental review of research
by the ARC and closure or merger became a possibility. It was therefore
a much changed ABRO to which Dr Roger Land succeeded in 1982
on the retirement of Professor John King, Director from 1974.
The original research focussing on animal breeding expanded over the
1970's and 1980's to include genetics (previously the remit of the ARC
Unit of Animal Genetics) and increasingly molecular biology. Over this
period, the network of farms initially established by ABGRO was substantially
reduced. The farm in Wales was disposed of in 1981, one of the farms
in the Borders was sold in 1990, and the farm in Staffordshire is now
on the market.
1981, the AFRC and MRC Neuropathogenesis Unit was created to
draw together research on scrapie and related diseases based on the
joint programme between ABRO and the Moredun Research Institute. NPU,
from 1986 administered by the Institute for Animal Health, also acquired
ABRO's research farm in East Lothian. The Unit is housed in one of the
former PRC building on the King's Buildings campus.