UC-Davis to add poultry veterinarian to faculty

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Funding has been pledged to create a faculty position for a poultry veterinarian at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

The veterinary school, the California Poultry Industry Federation, and the Pacific Egg and Poultry Association signed an agreement in late February that stipulates the school and industry will each provide half the funding for the full-time faculty position.

California is home to a sizeable poultry industry, which in 2009 produced $1.2 billion worth of chickens, eggs, turkeys, and other poultry-related products.

As per the agreement, the new faculty member will have experience with preventing and controlling infectious diseases and will be responsible for teaching veterinary students about poultry health and well-being. The curriculum will also address poultry health issues for large commercial operations, small producers, and hobbyists.

Working with personnel of the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System and poultry producers, the poultry veterinarian will design a research program with a special emphasis on viral and other infectious diseases. This person will also treat patients at UC-Davis' William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.

Funding for the position is guaranteed for three years with a possibility for renewal. The school expects to fill the position by early 2012.