New generation of animal scientists

28 Jul, 2004 10:00 PM
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MURDOCH University will launch a new Bachelor of Animal Science degree program in 2005 to address the nationwide shortage of specialist animal scientists.

"Graduates of this four-year degree (including honours) will not only receive excellent scientific training in animal science but will also learn practical industry skills to keep WA farmers at the forefront of animal production nationally and internationally," said course coordinator associate professor Nick Costa.

"This new generation of animal scientists from Murdoch University will learn to apply current knowledge as well as new molecular technologies to quality assurance programs for farmers and supply chains in general. The overall aim is to prepare graduates for roles in the Agriculture Department, the general rural sector as well as future research leaders.

"We will have a strong emphasis on animal production systems and control of diseases affecting production, particularly those caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria.

"Students will also learn how DNA and molecular technologies can improve livestock breeding by selection of molecular markers of production traits, and to improve quarantine controls through the development of better detection systems," he said.

This new animal science degree will be based in the internationally and nationally accredited School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences.

Students will have access to state-of-the-art teaching and learning facilities on the Murdoch campus as well as the onsite university farm and cutting edge molecular technologies at the State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre.

The School also is active in national CRC research programs in sheep, beef and biosecurity.

Associate professor Costa said that animal science students would learn about the production of traditional livestock such as sheep, cattle and pigs, the new animal industries such as alpacas, and tap into Murdoch University's specialist expertise in aquaculture and fish health.

Students will be assured of top quality teaching and learning, since Murdoch University is the only WA University to have been awarded the top five-star rating for graduate satisfaction in the Good Universities Guide for seven of the last eight years.

These new places in animal science arose after Murdoch University recently received the highest allocation of publicly funded university places in WA and the fourth highest nationally for 2005.

For more information about the Bachelor in Animal Science, contact Professor Costa on 08 9360 2485 or by email at N.Costa@Murdoch.edu.au.

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