5 December 2012

The University of Queensland has announced a closing date of January 2014 for its St Lucia Small Animal Clinic as the final phase of relocating the School of Veterinary Science to UQ’s Gatton campus.

The Head of the School of Veterinary Science, Professor Glen Coleman, said the Small Animal Clinic and the associated Centre for Companion Animal Health (CCAH) had remained at UQ St Lucia when the School relocated to UQ Gatton in 2010.

“This ensured continuity of small animal medicine and surgery clinical case-load and an after-hours emergency service for staff, students and clients during the establishment phase at UQ Gatton,” he said.

The School, its clinics and hospitals, including those providing small animal and wildlife veterinary and emergency services and conducting research to improve companion animal health, are now fully operational at UQ Gatton in purpose-built facilities costing almost AU$100 million.

The University had a core duty to use its funds as much as possible to provide excellent student tuition and great graduate outcomes.

Running a clinic like this in two places placed an unnecessary burden and detracted from the ability to deliver to students across disciplines.

To finalise the School’s relocation from St Lucia to Gatton, the remaining Veterinary Science St Lucia groups, the Small Animal Clinic and the Centre for Companion Animal Health (CCAH), will close at that site on 31 January, 2014 and 31 December, 2013 respectively.

Over the coming months, UQ will be working with staff, students, and clients and referring practitioners associated with the St Lucia Small Animal Clinic and CCAH to ensure their interests are looked after as far as possible before the final relocation and closure dates.

The Small Animal Clinic has been a familiar and popular feature at St Lucia for many years for dog and cat-owning staff, students and residents of surrounding suburbs, who, with their pets, have assisted UQ to provide ‘active learning’ for students in animal medicine, surgery and emergency care.

CCAH has had close physical ties to the Small Animal Clinic due to its clinical research work, which focuses on feline diabetes and obesity, and, more recently, on the human-animal bond and the problem of unwanted pets.

The move of the School of Veterinary Science to UQ Gatton was first announced in March 2007 when the UQ Senate endorsed the relocation of the School to the Gatton Campus. By February 2010, the majority of the School’s activities and personnel had successfully relocated to the UQ Gatton campus into state-of-the-art purpose-built facilities.

Since its first intake of students in 1936, the UQ School of Veterinary Science has been recognised for a sustained record of excellence in teaching and learning across the veterinary disciplines and for the quality of its research.

The School’s reputation is recognised internationally with the School recently achieving accreditation with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in addition to accreditation by the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in the UK.

This important new accreditation with the AVMA has opened up truly global employment opportunities for UQ veterinary science graduates.

Contacts: Jan King, OMC 07 3365 1120; Dr Beryl Morris, Faculty of Science, 07 3346 0586