Researchers have found there is increasing demand for veterinary services for poultry and livestock in the Western United States, and a need for ongoing continuing education of veterinarians and animal owners, reported Trina Wood, communications officer in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The article appeared in Phys.org.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Davis researchers and colleagues at colleges in Colorado, Washington and Oregon surveyed veterinary practitioners to assess their engagement with poultry and livestock owners. They received 880 responses; few said they were actively treating such animals because of lack of facilities, interest or experience.
"This segment of agriculture has been largely overlooked by the veterinary community in North American," said Alda Pires, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. "Due to the potential for public health issues and the spread of zoonotic disease, veterinary professionals need increased training and better awareness of the health and welfare of these animals."
Colorado extension specialist Ragan Adams sees a role for Cooperative Extension in meeting this need.
"County Extension personnel can teach the new animal owners as they have taught youth in 4-H programs for more than 100 years," Adams said. "With enhanced knowledge about animal husbandry, the new owners will understand the importance of seeking veterinary services when their animals show signs of illness."
The researchers' study was published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.