Richard Ross, Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-1250
Phyllis Peters, Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-4602
Steve Jones, News Service, (515) 294-4778
GROUNDBREAKING FOR LIVESTOCK FACILITY SET FOR SATURDAY
AMES, Iowa -- Ground will be broken Saturday, Nov. 22, for construction of a new livestock infectious disease research facility at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. The 10:30 a.m. ceremony is open to the public.
The 27,000-square-foot facility will be used by researchers working with infectious agents that cause diseases in poultry and livestock. The facility will allow scientists to expand ISU's food safety research on salmonellosis and E. coli infections. Scientists also will work on immunity enhancement and the development of new vaccines and better diagnostic tests.
"We have had a pressing need for a facility like this so that researchers in our college can expand their efforts to safeguard the health of Iowa livestock and make food production safer and more efficient," said Richard Ross, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Funding for the $6.27 million building project was appropriated by the Iowa General Assembly.
Infectious disease research at the facility will focus primarily on respiratory diseases affecting cattle, swine, sheep and poultry. One swine disease, PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome), is a top animal health concern harming swine populations in Iowa and elsewhere. The College of Veterinary Medicine has one of the nation's largest research teams investigating PRRS strains and developing diagnostic tests and vaccines for the virus.
The new building also will allow researchers to work with pathogens that require high security or with drugs and toxins that need special disposal procedures.
With state-of-the-art technology, the building will have a controlled environment that will lead to more reliable data collection. It also will meet full accreditation standards, "and as a result, will provide greater comfort to the animals and improved safety for workers," Ross said.
Construction is scheduled for completion in the spring of 1999.
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