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Vilsack dedicates animal health research facility in Ames

Iowa

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and other USDA officials dedicated the final component of the National Centers for Animal Healthin Ames, Iowa. The cutting-edge center provides laboratories, offices, animal space and administrative space for some of the nation's top animal health scientists and researchers. The dedication marks the completion of long-term project to consolidate three USDA units previously operated separately at Ames, resulting in better cost savings for America's taxpayers and employing about 700 people.

"The new NCAH will help create jobs and economic opportunity in America's rural communities by supporting livestock producers across the country," said Vilsack. "This new facility will not only save taxpayers money,but will help the men and women who work here in Ames provide the critical advancements needed to maintain the success of the industry."

The NCAH is a cutting-edge center operating from a single campus--like the National Institutes of HealthSEmDwith laboratories, offices, animal space and administrative space for some of the nation's top animal health scientists and researchers. The facility includes: the National Animal Disease Center, which is operated by USDA's Agricultural Research Service, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory and the Center for Veterinary Biologics, which are operated by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. All branches contribute to the nation's livestock industry by conducting research, diagnostics and training, as well as testing vaccines and evaluating veterinary biological products.

Last year, APHIS and ARS scientists and employees worked around the clock to test the first samples of the H1N1 virus, leading to the important discovery that infected pigs did not have any of the virus in their tissues and confirming the safety of the food supply. The work from ARS and APHIS staff protects food sources for consumers all over the world--and protects public health by minimizing human infectious diseases and food safety pathogens that might be transmitted from animals or their products.

ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of USDA. APHIS is responsible for protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, administering the Animal Welfare Act, and carrying out wildlife damage management activities.



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