UNE unveils Australian first in $7m animal research facility

Published 14 February 2014

CART building 011

The University of New England has unveiled Australian-first research facilities, with the opening of a new $7 million Centre for Animal Research and Teaching at its Armidale campus this morning.

UNE Chancellor, The Hon. John Watkins, said the new facilities represent a significant expansion of Australian research capabilities for the UNE and industry alike.

“The Large Animal Facility is unique in Australia, containing 10 large respiration chambers providing an exceptional environment for UNE researchers to study in particular, gas exchange and greenhouse gas production in individual cattle,” Mr Watkins said.

“The research conducted in the Large Animal Facility has very broad applications from measuring methane emissions, to monitoring aspects of feed conversion efficiency and energy waste.”

“More animals have been through this facility since its construction than through all cattle calorimetric facilities in Australia in the past 50 years, with UNE researchers taking the lead in a number of research projects through government and industry collaboration.”

The Centre for Animal Research and Teaching also includes a multimillion dollar Imaging Facility housing a suite of imaging capabilities including a CAT scanner as well as a scanning electron microscope, Neoscope benchtop SEM, and a 3-D scanner, for use in plant and animal biology research at the University.

UNE Vice-Chancellor Professor Jim Barber said the new facility was a major achievement as part of the University’s strategic focus on research and training within the Agriculture sector.

“This investment will ensure that UNE continues to be the university of choice for students wishing to study agriculture, with enrolments growing an incredible 57 per cent over the past three years alone,” Professor Barber said.

“Put simply, UNE is continuing to invest in its facilities to be able to cater for this growing demand and to continue to upgrade our research capabilities in the sector.”

“The Centre for Animal Research and Teaching, is just one of many investments UNE is making to expand UNE’s facilities and ensure that Australia has the best trained graduates, armed with the highest quality research and ready to contribute to Australia’s agricultural future,” Professor Barber said.