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ISU Veterinary College selected to host fourth annual Merial Rabies Symposium

June 15, 2011

Tracy Ann Raef, College of Veterinary Medicine communications, 515-294-4602, traef@iastate.edu
Dr. MeLissa Ciprich-Christensen, ISU Veterinary Clinical Services, 515-291-5391, mciprich@iastate.edu
Peter Costa, Global Alliance for Rabies Control, peter.costa@worldrabiesday.org
Natasha Mahanes, Merial, 678-638-3690, natasha.mahanes@merial.com 

AMES, Iowa -- Dedication and a commitment to raising awareness about rabies have earned Iowa State University veterinary students the opportunity to host the 2011 Merial Rabies Symposium on Sept. 24. The symposium is part of the observance of World Rabies Day, held annually each September.

Each year, the U.S. veterinary school with the highest percentage of its student body participating in World Rabies Day activities is awarded the Merial Rabies Symposium for the following year. The winning school is selected by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control and Merial, the animal health division of Sanofi.

In 2010, ISU College of Veterinary Medicine students held a World Rabies Day mega-clinic, where they vaccinated 100 feral cats against rabies. Twenty-one percent of ISU veterinary students participated in the event, the highest percentage of student participation recorded in 2010.

"We worked very hard to organize the World Rabies Day Feral Cat Alliance Mega-clinic and encouraged all students to participate in any way they could,” said Emily Houge, organizer of the event. “That is why we were very happy when we had 120 students participating."

“I couldn’t be more proud of the students for the time that they have committed to rabies education and outreach endeavors,” said Dr. MeLissa Ciprich-Christensen, adjunct instructor at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “The students are very excited about the upcoming symposium and have some great ideas for this year’s event.”

The planning committee for the Merial Rabies Symposium includes College of Veterinary Medicine third-year students Chad Clancy, Emily Houge, Trina Schey and Chelsea Reinhard.

The Sept. 24 Merial Rabies Symposium will be held at the Gateway Hotel in Ames, just south of the Iowa State University campus. For more information about this event and others related to World Rabies Day, which is Sept. 28, please visit www.worldrabiesday.org.

About the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine
The Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine is one of 28 veterinary colleges and schools in the United States. Established in 1879, it is the nation’s oldest public veterinary college. More than 7,000 veterinarians have graduated from the college since its founding more than 132 years ago.

About the Global Alliance for Rabies Control
The Global Alliance for Rabies Control is the world’s foremost nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing rabies in humans and animals. Since its formation in 2007, the Alliance has educated more than 150 million people in 200 countries and is the creator and coordinator of the annual World Rabies Day.

About Merial
Merial is a world-leading, innovation-driven animal health company, providing a comprehensive range of products to enhance the health, well-being and performance of a wide range of animals. Merial employs approximately 5,600 people and operates in more than 150 countries worldwide. Its 2010 sales were more than $2.6 billion.

Merial is a Sanofi company.

For more information, please see www.merial.com.