Wildlife center joins international coalition protecting animal and public health

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The U.S. Geological Survey in July announced the agency's National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., had been designated by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as a Collaborating Center for Research and Diagnosis of Emerging and Existing Pathogens of Wildlife.

The OIE is an intergovernmental organization headquartered in Paris and responsible for improving animal health worldwide. Its objectives include ensuring transparency in the global disease situation; collecting, analyzing, and disseminating veterinary scientific information; and promoting veterinary services.

A critical component of the OIE's scientific expertise is the organization's international network of Collaborating Centers. These are centers of expertise in a specific designated sphere of competence relating to management of animal health issues. Collaborating Centers assist the OIE by providing their expertise internationally.

Other U.S. animal health and research facilities named as OIE Collaborating Centers include the Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics at the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Southeast Poultry and Research Laboratory in Athens, Ga.

"International recognition for the USGS National Wildlife Health Center by the World Organization for Animal Health could not be more prestigious or more timely," said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. "As with all great honors, this one bears great responsibilities: to be ever watchful for the next outbreak and work internationally to stop it in its tracks."

Located in Madison, Wis., the NWHC provides information, technical assistance, training, and research on domestic and international wildlife health issues.

In addition, the NWHC announced it will be creating a consortium with the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Center, which is based at the University of Saskatchewan and is an OIE Collaborating Center for Wildlife Disease Surveillance and Monitoring, Epidemiology, and Management.