(edited from a longer press release)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Veterinary Homeland Security Certificate Program, a graduate-level distance-learning program at Purdue University, has gained national certification as a curriculum for response personnel in the event of a major animal health emergency.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, examined and reviewed courses in the program, which is part of Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine and managed by the Purdue Homeland Security Institute.
The agency granted the program certification because it complies with National Animal Health Emergency Management System guidelines, which are set up to deal with animal health incidents.
Since coursework began in May of 2006, there have been 62 students enrolled from 27 states, the District of Columbia and Singapore. The majority are private practice veterinarians, but there also are professionals enrolled from the military, U.S. Department of Agriculture, public health departments, animal health departments and veterinary schools. Some students are veterinary technicians, and others are applying the coursework to degrees in public health. Veterinary students also are participating.
To qualify for the certificate, students have four years to complete nine courses, which are available 24 hours a day online or by CD.
Lectures include a range of topics that address issues such as swine disease, rabies, anthrax and plague.
The program is a cooperative effort among the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue Homeland Security Institute, Indiana Board of Animal Health, Indiana State Police and Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
More information is available online at http://www.BiosecurityCenter.org.