New Facility Helps Students Become Rural Community Veterinarians

June 03, 2011 - News Release

University of Guelph veterinary students will gain hands-on experience in treating farm animals in a new state-of-the-art facility opened today at the Ontario Veterinary College.

Supported by a $2.3-million investment from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Large Animal Clinical Skills Building is helping prepare doctor of veterinary medicine students for careers in rural veterinary practice.

“OMAFRA has made a tremendous investment in protecting the health of our animal agriculture industry and in Ontario’s rural communities,” said OVC dean Elizabeth Stone. “Student veterinarians will develop critical experience with farm animals in a safe learning environment.”

Carol Mitchell, minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, added: “Our government is proud to support the next generation of veterinarians and animal health experts. This new clinic will contribute to strong growing livestock and agricultural industries, and support our rural communities.”

The 8,300-square-foot facility will provide a bright and flexible space for OVC’s large-animal learning labs, allowing students and faculty to use modern technology and animal-handling equipment.

Healthy animals will be kept separate from hospital patients to meet accreditation requirements of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association, as well as standards of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.

Stone said OMAFRA’s investment in the clinical skills building is one of many ways the ministry supports learning through the Veterinary Clinical Education Program. The program funds student veterinarian externships, post-DVM training and graduate programs in the OVC Health Sciences Centre, and stipends for veterinarians enrolled in the master of public health program; it partially funds some faculty and staff salaries.

“This support from OMAFRA is vital to our ability to provide high-quality veterinary clinical education, and for protecting and advancing the health of animals, people and the environment," Stone said.

The Large Animal Clinical Skills Building is located next to Barn 37, U of G’s historical dairy barn. A separate renovation project funded by OVC and donations has improved the barnyard and added 19 horse box stalls. OVC and the Ontario Agricultural College both use this facility, which is the last functioning barn on the U of G campus.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338,, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982,

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1