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UA looks to launch veterinarian program

University of Arizona officials want the Tucson-based school to establish a veterinary medical program and are asking the Legislature for a $250,000 state appropriation for an initial study.

Arizona now has no veterinary medicine school, but the state subsidizes some students who attend Colorado State University.

A National Research Council report issued last May concluded there’s no national shortage of veterinarians.

However, Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Shane Burgess said the proposed veterinarian program would address shortages for large-animal vets and in vets for public health, disease research and food safety.

A veterinarian program proposal 20 years ago included building a veterinarian hospital and had a $200 million price tag.

The current proposal is based on a model in which students would meet residency requirements at private veterinary centers and clinics, the Arizona Daily Star reported Monday.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences already operates a ranch, an equine center and a Food Products and Safety Laboratory.