GADVASU to now study wildlife diseases, zoo-keeping issues

In addition to pet and livestock care that varsity provides, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University has now forayed into wildlife research as well in a decision taken at the meeting of Academic Council held recently.

"We have established Centre for wildlife care and research at the university campus to begin with. The initiative has been taken after seeing the requirement of such a research centre in Ludhiana. For example, recently a leopard entered Ludhiana boundaries but we were unable to catch it. So the aim of this university is to research on such wildlife issues and provide city with a centre which can be approached for queries on wildlife," said Harpreet Singh, spokesperson, GADVASU, talking to Ludhiana Newsline.

The forest department too can consult varsity on various issues but formally there is no connection between the two departments, he added. "We are open for consultation and help to forest office but there is no formal agreement as of now," said Singh.

The centre is located in the College of Veterinary Science under the administrative control of Dean, College of Veterinary Science. The centre will have all teaching and research facilities with well established diagnostic laboratory set up, record keeping mechanisms for digitalizing of the data of wild life diseases, computerized laboratory and an annexe for imparting training to wild health specialists.

It will also provide specialist services to address problems or exigencies emanating from the zoo. Dr Kirti Dua, Professor and former Head of Department of Veterinary Medicine, has been made incharge of the centre.

"There is no comprehensive specialized centre to address the problems faced by wild and zoo animals in Punjab. University experts often visit the zoo premises for therapeutic or surgical interventions and also provide regular consultations for better redressal and assistance to state wild life agencies in areas of mortality investigations, disease preventions and management problems. The establishment of a Wild-life Centre in GADVASU will help to solve problems of wild and zoo animals which also suffer from myriad of diseases having zoonotic potential. Besides, such animals are most vulnerable to poaching problems due to avarice mind-set of hunting public and escalating financial value of many species of animals requiring much needed awareness," said Dr Dua, to Newsline.

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