Need for more for food-animal veterinarians

By Peter Kent

Man looking at chickensA national decline in food supply veterinarians could put South Carolina’s animal food supply at risk.

Public health officials are concerned that the lack of veterinarians could lead to an increase in livestock disease outbreaks that could threaten the food supply as well as human health. There are more than 800 diseases such as salmonella and E. coli that can spread from animals to humans.

Boyd Parr, state veterinarian and director of Clemson Livestock and Poultry Health programs, is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to attract food supply veterinarians to the state. 

"The federal government has a program to help pay school costs for veterinarians willing to work on food animals in places without coverage,” Parr said. Veterinarians and cattle producers recommended areas needing coverage. USDA expects to announce the scholarship awards in September.

For information: Boyd Parr, 803-788-2260 x 231,