Becker College School of Animal Studies Dean Teaches USDA Course

Published on Friday, February 15th, 2013

Dr. Richard French, Dean of Animal Studies and Allerton Chair of Animal Health Sciences at the Becker College School of Animal Studies, served as an instructor for the United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostician (FADD) Course, January 28-February 8, 2013 (Dr. French is pictured, left, with a veterinary student.). The course is part of a USDA professional development training program, held at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

A veterinary pathologist, Dr. French has expertise in transboundary diseases, which are diseases that are not in the United States, but which are a threat to the Americas and agriculture industry, as well as select agents, or bio-agents which have been declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to have the “potential to pose a severe threat to public health and safety.”

Since 1971, PIADC has been educating veterinarians in foreign animal diseases. The center hosts several foreign animal disease diagnostic schools each year to train federal and state veterinarians and laboratory diagnostic staff, military veterinarians, and veterinary school faculty.

Dr. French has served as an instructor and collaborator with the USDA, Plum Island Animal Disease Center for 10 years, as well as both the Agricultural Research Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Dr. French has authored and co-authored numerous articles and presentations, including “War of the Worlds: Our Worlds Are Colliding and Infectious Disease Is Winning – Emerging Diseases and the One Health Initiative” in 2009.

Dr. French says his goal is to employ his experience and expertise to enhance Becker College students’ education and potential opportunities as the new School of Animal Studies is established. “Issues of animal health, food safety, and welfare are global issues; the expanded depth and breadth of animal studies can only contribute to the college’s efforts to educate students to contribute to and thrive in a global society,” he says.