Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

March 24, 2006

OVC Receives $25 Million from Province to Support Research

The Ontario government budget announced yesterday includes $25 million for the animal health lab at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) for research into emerging diseases such as avian flu and West Nile virus.

“We welcome this exciting news,” said OVC dean Elizabeth Stone. “The University and OVC are extremely grateful for this infrastructure funding, and we look forward to working with government to advance our knowledge and our leadership in research on these important health concerns.”

The newly announced funding will support the existing plan for the upgrade of the OVC facilities. This includes new diagnostic units and state-of-the-art equipment to aid researchers in identifying and managing new and emerging diseases that pose challenges. “An improved ability to diagnose infectious diseases will have great impact on the Canadian agriculture industry,” says Stone. “In addition, many emerging diseases are ones that can pass from animals to humans, so funding in this area extends to improving human welfare as well,” she said.

U of G president Alastair Summerlee says the new laboratory facilities will be a key component of the strategic plan to place OVC at the forefront of improving the health of animals, people and the environment. “The health and welfare of our province depends on investments such as this. I applaud the McGuinty government; the Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Leona Dombrowsky and Guelph-Wellington MPP Liz Sandals for their vision and support in this regard.”

Stone noted that the field of veterinary medicine is gaining recognition around the world for its contributions to human health. “The fact that we are involved in helping maintain the health of people and not just animals is one of the best-kept secrets of our profession,” she says. “We are delighted that the Ontario government has recognized the importance of supporting veterinary research and the role veterinarians play in the provincial public health system.”

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Rebecca Kendall, Ext. 56982.

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