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Animal, Human Health Explored

By Jeffrey S. Douglas

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 04 - September 17, 1998

"Animals, Humans and Public Health," a symposium which explores the common interests of human and veterinary medicine in dealing with food safety, infectious disease and other health issues, will be presented by the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine on Friday, Sept. 18, on campus.
E.coli H:157, salmonella in poultry, "mad-cow disease," rabies epidemics, and anthrax threats in biological warfare are just a few of the many issues which have recently catapulted veterinary medicine into the headlines.
Veterinary medicine protects and enriches human life by promoting the quality of the food supply, controlling infectious diseases which threaten people and animals, and by fostering the health and well-being of pets.
Physicians have traditionally looked to veterinary medicine for contributions in biomedical research, and increasingly, in appreciation of the psycho-social benefits of the human-animal bond.
Scientists from CDC-Atlanta, USDA-Washington, and several distinguished experts on the human-animal bond will discuss different aspects of human/animal health and the complex relationship which binds people and animals during the event.
Presentations include "Origins of the Human-animal Partnership," by VMRCVM Dean Peter Eyre. A veterinary pharmacologist and dean of the VMRCVM since 1985, Eyre is one of the nation's leading veterinary educators. He is active with numerous national veterinary medical organizations and is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Government Relations.
"Physical and Emotional Value of the Human-animal Bond," will be presented by Sandra B. Barker, associate professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University's Medical College of Virginia, a licensed professional counselor and one of the nation's leading researchers and educators in the human/animal bond.
"Pet-assisted Therapy, Present and Future," will be presented by Maureen Fredrickson, vice president, programs of the Renton, Washington-based Delta Society, a clinical and education center dedicated to the study of the relationship between people and animals.
Carol Willoughby, who co-founded and serves as director of the Saint Francis of Assisi Service Dog Foundation in Roanoke, will discuss the nature and operation of her service-dog foundation. Partnered with a service dog since 1986, Willoughby has been an advocate for the disabled for many years.
Bonnie Buntain, director, Animal Production Food Safety Staff, of the United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service will present the keynote address "Food Safety from Farm to Table," a presentation which will discuss emerging food-safety threats and government strategies for containing them.
"Human Health Consequences of the Use of Antibiotics in Animals" will be presented by Frederick James Angulo, medical epidemiologist and chief, Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) Activity of the National Center for Infectious Diseases at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.