Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine

Doctoral Program in Animal and Food Hygiene

In Japan, as in many other countries, safety of food of animal origin has increasingly become an important public health concern, as well as a political issue in the light of economies having to survive and compete in a highly-globalized free market. To help address such realities, the University implemented a master's degree program in Animal and Food Hygiene in 2004, and a doctoral degree program in Animal and Food Hygiene in 2006. The doctoral program aims to equip students with the fundamentals of animal food safety and sanitation, and provide them the opportunity to carry out relevant research, primarily geared towards the enhancement of safe food production and delivery systems. Due to globalization, food safety has become an essential issue of economic survival, particularly in developing countries. This program was thus instituted purportedly to help these countries upgrade their food hygiene and sanitation-related programs and become more competitive in the process.
In view of the highly interdisciplinary nature of the program, the instructional and research components are shared by research-based faculty, and serviced by two laboratories of Animal and Environmental Health, and Food Safety with seven divisions. With this expertise and support, it has attracted a sizable number of international post-graduates, and thus is expected to produce specialists of international stature, who can assist in promoting food safety and hygiene worldwide.
While this program aims to address every vital aspect/facet of production, processing and transportation of food of animal origin, it also helps hone students' scientific process skills (critical, analytical, integrative, and organizational) in research. As such, the graduates are expected to be able to translate research findings on food safety and sanitation within the context of public health from a much wider and global perspective. Also, the training they obtain should be more than sufficient to prepare them to work closely with -and complement the studies of - experts from agriculture, animal husbandry, and veterinary medicine locally, nationally, and globally.

Animal and Environmental Health

The laboratory teaches technical development and theories for raising and breeding healthy livestock and controlling diseases as well as naturally maximizing the potential of healthy animals in order to improve economic efficiency. Furthermore, we examine the interactions between host animals and parasites, such as worms and protozoa that cause infectious diseases, and provide a comprehensive program of animal medical science that includes the diagnoses and treatment of zoonotic protozoan diseases, and the relationship between animal health/disease prevention and the basic functions of nutrition.
In addition, we provide comprehensive instruction in environmental hygiene including prevention of diseases by infected vector animals, an international epidemiological study of infectious diseases and the utilization of biomass. We are also studying the establishment of a recycling system in the agricultural and livestock production system in order to alter the highly energy intensive livestock production system that greatly impacts the environment by disturbing material circulation, polluting water systems and emits global-warming gases.

Food Safety

We provide a comprehensive examination of the potential dangers that exist in the path that food takes from farm to dining table in order to achieve a stable and efficient supply of safe, high quality livestock food products. The instruction and research on food hygiene done by this Laboratory includes: the treatment and prevention of pathogenic microbe contamination, (mainly bacteria and viruses), the management and evaluation of sanitary control systems on farms and at food processing sites, the economic evaluation and design of quarantine systems used in international trade, the development of risk evaluation methods for livestock food products by examining food functions and the pathogenic mechanism of microbes, and the analysis of health dangers related to food.

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