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AgResearch to build animal health facility

20 April 2005

AgResearch to build world-class animal health facility

A new AgResearch facility to be built in Palmerston North will enhance New Zealand's status as a world-leader in animal health research, Research, Science and Technology Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Speaking at the launch of the Hopkirk Institute, Steve Maharey said animal health research was one of the many areas where science is contributing to New Zealand's economic security.

"The health of our livestock is crucial to the performance of our agricultural sector," Steve Maharey said. "In recent years, New Zealand has avoided a number of livestock disease outbreaks such as foot and mouth and Mad Cow diseases, but we can't afford to become complacent.

"New Zealand's scientists and veterinarians have long been world-leaders in animal health research. The Hopkirk Institute will build on this status and will help make Palmerston North an international centre of excellence in animal health research."

The Hopkirk institute will be built at the Turitea Campus of Massey University adjacent to Massey's Institute for Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences (IVABS). IVABS offers New Zealand's only veterinary degree – one of the top ten veterinary degrees in the world.

When finished, the Hopkirk Institute's 4,000 square metres of laboratory space will house approximately 70 research staff.

The Institute will be led by AgResearch scientist Dr Wayne Hein. Initially the Institute will have three major focuses:

Researching new solutions for the control of parasitic diseases Evaluating new, more effective vaccines to combat infectious diseases Identifying and predicting the occurrence of food poisoning threats in New Zealand

The Hopkirk Institute – named for New Zealand animal health pioneer Dr CSM Hopkirk – is expected to be open in approximately 18 months.

ENDS

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