FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has partnered with the Atlantic Veterinary College to provide equine specialty services to New Brunswick horse owners.

“I am pleased that our department was successful in finding a means to provide specialty equine services,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “Forging strategic Atlantic partnerships with the academic community and industry is key to the efficient delivery of service in today’s world.”

The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries has reached an agreement in principle with the college, the details of which are still being finalized. Under the agreement, provincial veterinarians will continue to provide routine and emergency general practitioner services, including health exams and the treatment of diseases, while the college will provide specialty services for more complex cases.

The college will expand its staff and its inventory of mobile equipment related to equine ambulatory care, and will arrange regular services to New Brunswick horse owners.

“As an institution that serves the region, the Atlantic Veterinary College is pleased to partner with the Province of New Brunswick for the provision of equine service,” said Dr. Greg Keefe, dean of the college. “Dr. Kathleen MacMillan and her team in our equine ambulatory group will add specialist capacity to the provincial service, and will be supported by a strong team of highly-skilled surgeons and internists at our Veterinary Teaching Hospital.”

The agreement in principle represents the first time the college will provide services at the department clinic in Fredericton. The college will also provide periodic on-site services in the Moncton area. Service delivery is expected to begin later this month.

"The New Brunswick Equestrian Association welcomes a provincial partnership with the Atlantic Veterinary College to assist the horse-owning community and the provincial vets in providing equine medical services,” said Deanna Phelan, association president.