Commitment to Quality Animal Care

Texas A&M University-Commerce Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. John Humphreys, announced today the completion of several initiatives undertaken by the university to enhance institutional oversight of the agriculture department and university farms.

Interim President Ray Keck commissioned a university-wide review of both institutional oversight and the quality of animal care on university farms soon after assuming his role on June 1, 2016. A&M-Commerce is one of 11 universities that make up The Texas A&M University System.

Humphreys’ announcement follows a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection report identifying areas of concern in policy and procedures surrounding the care of animals.

“We believe that the steps taken demonstrate a renewed commitment to comprehensive institutional oversight in the care of animals managed by the School of Agriculture,” Dr. Humphreys said.

As a result of the review ordered by President Keck, the following changes have been completed:

  • The replacement of all university personnel responsible for the oversight in the care of animals managed by the university’s School of Agriculture;
  • New leadership put in place on all A&M-Commerce farms, including a new animal care facility director and new attending and clinical veterinarians;
  • Recruitment and retention of best-in-class practitioners, including: Dr. Randy Harp, most recently a professor of animal science at Tarleton State University, now serving as the director of the School of Agriculture; and Dr. Bruce Whitney, currently the chief research compliance officer for The Texas A&M University System, who was named chair of the university’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and who brings a wealth of experience to the role.

“This new leadership team is in place and will work very closely to provide daily hands-on veterinary care and supervision on our university farms,” said Dr. Humphreys.