The program is a product of the Canada-Saskatchewan Agrifood Innovation Fund, creating a Research Chair and a Specialized Livestock Research Program at WCVM to promote and perform basic and applied animal research.
The current Research Chair is Dr. Murray Woodbury. Murray graduated with a DVM from W.C.V.M. in 1974. He has also achieved an M.Sc (Epidemiology) from Ontario Veterinary College, and an M.Sc (Specialized Livestock) from W.C.V.M. where he studied antler growth and innervation.
The objectives of the program are:
- Improve herd management, disease control and nutrition in order to expand and enhance current primary production of specialized livestock species.
- Create the framework for Saskatchewan to become a leader in technological development.
- Provide technology transfer and extension to the specialized livestock industry.
The Chair also forms partnerships with other research organizations and individuals to generate information benefiting all specialized livestock industries in Saskatchewan and Canada.
The Saskatchewan Specialized Livestock Research and Development Program aspires to be at the centre of research expertise in bison, deer and elk as well as less widely farmed species such as exotic goats, wild boar and ratites.
The specialized livestock industries in Saskatchewan have seen both significant growth and retraction over the last ten years. As industries mature there is an increasing need for technical support and research relating to all aspects of animal production. To address this need the Canada-Saskatchewan Agri-food Innovation Fund and the University of Saskatchewan created a research professorship at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). The professor also assumes the Chair position of the Specialized Livestock Research and Development Program at W.C.V.M.
The program is sensitive to the applied research needs of specialized livestock producers, helping them to become commercially successful and sustainable. The primary activities in our research and development program are aimed at transferring existing knowledge and creating new information and technology to benefit all specialized livestock industries.
We seek to form partnerships with other research organizations and individuals with similar goals in aid of specialized livestock industries in Saskatchewan and Canada. Alliances have been formed within a well staffed veterinary college, and with an entire university and several local private research organizations. The University of Saskatchewan is one of the few universities in North America having human health sciences, veterinary health sciences, and agricultural science faculties on one campus. Off campus partners include other universities and government research facilities. The sharing of expertise and resources is fundamental to the success of our research efforts.
- Respond to research inquiries from producers.
- Provide technology transfer and extension to the industry, including producers and veterinarians on ongoing research projects and research results from around the world.
- Based on identified research and development needs, coordinate and perform basic and applied research for:
- disease diagnostic testing and analysis
- animal growth and performance, herd management, behavioural studies, humane practices, disease prevention, reproduction, nutrition