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A "Wild" Dedication To Animals

A "Wild" Dedication To AnimalsTufts, U.S. Representative opened new $2.65 million wildlife medicine building on No. Grafton campus.

No. Grafton, Mass. [04.24.01] From endangered species to rabies prevention to infectious disease research, Tufts veterinarians and researchers have dedicated years of work to a wide range of vital issues affecting the global ecosystem. On Monday, Tufts officials added a major, state-of-the-art facility to its veterinary campus, tripling the space available for the critical wildlife research and care.

According to the Boston Herald, the 11,000-square-foot Bernice Barbour Wildlife Medicine Building "will be used to treat wildlife, teach veterinary students and research environmental issues."

U.S. Representative James P. McGovern (D-MA) described the $2.65 million facility as "magnificent," adding that it will allow Tufts to continue to play a leadership role in Massachusetts and around the country on wildlife and public health issues.

The Congressman noted that Tufts' national leadership in this area has a long history.

"In establishing its wildlife medicine program nearly two decades ago, Tufts became the first American veterinary school to focus on native wildlife species, and to require students to study environmental health and comparative medicine," McGovern said.

Dr. Phil Kosch -- dean of Tufts' Veterinary School -- said the new facility will also foster collaborative, interdisciplinary research.

"The connection between humans, all animal species and the environment is clearly fundamental at many levels -- from food production to delicate, complex ecosystem relationships involving everything from biodiversity conservation to controlling diseases such as West Nile Virus, 'Mad Cow' and rabies," Kosch said.

He added, "Veterinarians know this interconnectedness better than anyone and are in an ideal position to contribute to both animal and public health through research leading to recommendations that will affect public policy behavior."

The new Barbour Building will be home to one of the Veterinary School's academic departments - the Department for Environmental and Population Health - which includes the Center for Conservation Medicine, the Wildlife Clinic, the International Veterinary Medicine Program, the Center for Animals and Public Policy and the Ambulatory Clinic in Woodstock, Conn.

Historically, one of the more visible programs has been the Wildlife Clinic, which opened in 1982 as the designated official Northeast center for the care of endangered species by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. Since then, the clinic has treated more than 18,000 sick and injured animals from New England and neighboring states.

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