One of the nation’s foremost veterinary schools is facing the elimination of all of its state funding, totaling about $30 million.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget calls for the defunding of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet), which includes New Bolton Center large animal hospital, according to the Daily Local News. The hospital handles more than 4,000 patient visits annually — primarily horses. It’s field services treats 36,000 large animals at local farms. The hospital also offers around-the-clock emergency services.
Penn Vet officials are hopeful that the cuts will not be included in the final budget.
“The students, faculty and staff of the University of Pennsylvania recognize the severity of the commonwealth’s budget challenges,” says Ashley Berke, director of communications at Penn Vet. “The governor’s proposed budget does not include the annual appropriation that supports clinical services, research and scholarship at Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine. This is an opportunity to expand awareness of the vet school’s historic partnership with the commonwealth, which was designed to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Pennsylvania and its largest industry, agriculture. Funding from the commonwealth ensures the vet school’s ability to deliver life-saving services at its two animal hospitals, advance research programs that support the agricultural industry, and maintain our commitment to developing and growing the veterinary profession.”
Wolfe says he is trying to close the state’s $3 billion deficit through government cuts and reforms. His proposed $32.3 billion budget is $571.5 million more than last year.