The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) cut the ribbon on October 4 to mark the opening of its new poultry research facility in Athens, Georgia.

“This modernized facility will serve as the largest poultry research facility in the United States and will house the largest number of researchers and collaborators dedicated to the prevention, detection and resolution of poultry health problems,” said Chavonda Jacobs, USDA Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics.

This new facility expands on the capabilities of the Southeastern Poultry Institute, founded in 1962 to study airsacitis in broilers. The facility has enabled staff to respond to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), Newcastle disease, reovirus, infectious bursal disease, Marek’s disease, and other emerging avian viruses.

Along with vaccine development, the institute has been active in developing molecular tests to diagnose HPAI and Newcastle disease. Researchers have tracked the spread of the virus and developed solutions to break the cycle of infection.

“When pathogens and diseases threaten poultry health, animal health professionals in government and industry have the knowledge and expertise to help Southeastern Poultry Institute researchers quickly find answers and develop solutions. Simon Liu, Acting ARS Administrator.

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