New department will focus on a wide range of issues contributing to the challenge of feeding a growing global population through sustainable and ethical farming methods, college says.

The RVC has announced that it is to launch a new academic department this month.

The RVC has announced that it is opening a new department which will focus on feeding a growing world population using sustainable and ethical farming methods.According to the college, the department of production and population health will focus on a wide range of issues contributing to the major challenge of feeding a growing global population through sustainable and ethical farming methods.

Research and teaching areas to be covered in the new department include:

  • production and farm animal health,
  • population medicine,
  • veterinary epidemiology,
  • veterinary public health,
  • animal welfare,
  • animal ethics,
  • animal husbandry and;
  • agricultural economics.

Stuart Reid, principal of the RVC, believes the new department demonstrates the college's commitment to sustainably produced food.RVC principal Stuart Reid said: “Bringing these important areas into a single entity demonstrates the college’s commitment to addressing the major global issue of sustainably produced food. Through this new department, we will strengthen our offer in terms of teaching, research and clinical service throughout the food chain, from primary production to consumption, at the level of the individual animal through to biosecurity and control at the resolution of the population.”

The new department will also take over responsibility for running the RVC farm at the Boltons Park site and will be headed up by John Fishwick, senior lecturer in dairy herd medicine and senior clinical tutor.
 
John Fishwick, senior lecturer in dairy herd medicine, is to head up the new department.Mr Fishwick said: “We ensure that our students can not only diagnose and treat farm animals but that they are also aware of the wider context and societal agenda. The veterinary team is ideally placed to ensure that, as a society, we look after our farmed animals in sustainable, ethical and environmentally friendly ways.”

The announcement follows the July 2012 announcement that the RVC had been designated an FAO reference centre in veterinary epidemiology; currently one of only two such centres in the world and the only one of its kind in the UK.


Main and front page image © Stephen Bond

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