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MSU's veterinary college to host Merial Rabies Symposium
MISSISSIPPI STATE – The Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine will host the sixth annual Merial Rabies Symposium on World Rabies Day, Sept. 28, 2013.
The symposium, sponsored by animal health company Merial, brings together noted public health speakers, veterinarians and veterinary students to discuss this major public health issue.
The symposium addresses rabies from the local to the international scale. Its goals are to increase rabies awareness and its impact on human and animal health and to encourage prevention through education and animal vaccination. Hundreds of experts and students from around the country attend the event each year.
Dr. Kent Hoblet, dean of MSU’s veterinary college, sees hosting the event as opportunity to highlight the intersection of animal and human health.
“Veterinarians are the first ones to see diseases that ultimately affect public health,” he said. “We look forward to having national experts on this issue and to engaging students in these topics. We are grateful to Merial for this opportunity.”
Last October, the MSU-CVM Class of 2016 competed against other U.S. veterinary colleges for the chance to host this year’s symposium. Merial asked veterinary students to raise rabies awareness in their communities.
The Class of 2016 delivered the rabies prevention message using the tag line, “Less Rabies, More Cowbell.” The tag line, along with a message about vaccination, was printed on t-shirts and sold to students and faculty. Their enthusiasm interested many students and faculty, and more than 100 people in the college wore the shirts on World Rabies Day last year.
The students also hosted a community-wide rabies education program that included the school’s mascot, Bully, before an MSU football game.
“We are so proud to have been selected to host the symposium,” said Ryan Gibson, Class of 2016 president. “We had a great time competing and promoting rabies education last year, and getting to host this national event this year is an honor.”
Merial, the symposium’s sponsor and global animal health advocate, sees rabies as a continued threat, both abroad and in the United States.
“Many pet owners in the U.S. may be unaware of the continued problem of rabies because local laws have done a lot to curtail rabies in dogs in this country,” said Dr. Joanne Maki, global public health technical director for Merial. “However, rabies continues to be an issue among unvaccinated pets and wildlife domestically, and an even larger problem for animals abroad with fewer laws around vaccination. As many as 70,000 people a year are killed worldwide by rabies, most of whom are infected by animals.”
The Class of 2016 is working with Merial to organize the event. More information, including how to register for the event, will be available this summer.
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 6,000 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2012 sales were $2.8 billion. Merial is a Sanofi company. For more information, please visit http://www.merial.com .
Contact: Karen Templeton, (662) 325-1100