Two associations representing California's poultry and egg producers have pledged their shared support of a faculty position for a poultry veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Bennie Osburn, dean of the school, Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Industry Federation, and Debbie Murdock, executive vice president of the Pacific Egg and Poultry Association, signed an agreement Feb. 24 to help fund a faculty position dedicated to poultry health. The industry and the School of Veterinary Medicine will each provide half the funding for the full-time position.
The new faculty member will teach veterinary students specifically about poultry health and well-being. Instruction in the DVM curriculum will consider health issues, including infectious disease prevention and control, of large commercial operations, smaller producers, and hobbyists with only a few birds.
The veterinarian will be experienced with methods of prevention and control of infectious disease to maintain health and enhance food safety. Working with personnel of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System and poultry producers, he or she will design a research program with a special emphasis on viral and other infectious diseases. Finally, the poultry veterinarian will see patients at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.
The signing event took place at the annual stakeholder meeting of the school's Center for Food Animal Health http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/cfah, a center of excellence that manages research funding and scientific priorities associated with food animal health, welfare and productivity.
The California Poultry Industry Federation is the trade association for California's poultry industry. The Pacific Egg and Poultry Association is a nonprofit agricultural trade association serving the egg and poultry industries of eleven Western states and Canada. California produced $1.2 billion in chicken, eggs, turkey and other products in 2009.