West Texas A&M University receives grant that will assist world’s most urgent public health problems

West Texas A&M University receives grant that will assist world’s most urgent public health problems
While states across the country slowly reopen, people in the agriculture industry are feeling the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo: WKYT/Adam Burniston) (Source: WKYT/Adam Burniston)

CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - West Texas A&M VERO program won a $500,000 grant from the Food and Drug Administration to study a potentially dangerous drug resistance in cattle that might impact human health.

“This grant is important because it represents a great partnership,” said Dr. Paul Morley, professor and director of research for Texas A&M University.

Dr. Morley will be working with researchers from Iowa State University, Michigan State University and Colorado State University, along with local industry leaders like Five Rivers Cattle Feeding and Texas Cattle Feeders Association to find ways to reduce the amount of antibiotic given to a cattle.

“It’s important we try and reduce antimicrobial use wherever we can,” said Dr. Morley. “Some sectors of society are very critical about antimicrobial drug use in animals and so, it has a huge impact on consumer base in large.”

Veterinarians and physicians for humans are both trying to reduce the use of antibiotics since this resistance leads to deadly problems of people getting infections that cannot be treated with such antibiotics.

“The concern about antimicrobial resistance with regards to use in cattle or other parts of agriculture is the fear that use in animals leads to resistance in bacteria,” said Dr. Morley. “Which are then transferred to people via the food, environment or the air, and so, if we decrease use in animals, the hope is that we’ll decrease the risk to people.”

VERO officals are in the process of staffing the 2+2 veterinarian training program with clinical veterinary professors, a research scientist, contract veterinarians, student workers and more.

The program will allow Texas A&M veterinary students to elect to spend their first two years on WT’s campus for increased exposure to large animal needs in rural communities.

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