On Nov. 5, Aviagen® hosted a grand opening event at its Elkmont, Ala., U.S. campus. The occasion marked the completion of a new Veterinary Services building, along with the expansion of the facility’s existing diagnostic laboratory, which was highlighted with a tour of the lab’s innovative features. This project was started in mid-2019.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, attendance was limited, and CDC social distancing and other guidelines were followed. A video of the event speakers and the vet lab tour will be shared with those who could not attend.
The company’s strategy is to further strengthen the health, welfare and biosecurity of Aviagen birds amid a rising global demand for the company’s broiler breeding stock.
Diagnostic laboratory expansion
The Elkmont diagnostic laboratory is one of two in the United States, and numbers among the company’s seven laboratories strategically positioned throughout the world. The Elkmont facility employs 45 highly skilled personnel, including veterinarians, microbiologists and technicians, and is dedicated to highly specialized testing capabilities. In addition to working to protect Aviagen high-generation breeding flocks from disease and harmful pathogens, the lab team supports the company’s internal groups through collaboration on special research projects.
The extra 7,500 square feet (700 square meters) has nearly doubled the existing floor space, allowing for a new Molecular Suite, which enables the company to continue to improve on state-of-the-art methodologies and equipment. The lab meets all government and international quality authorizations needed to conduct official health testing to ensure breeding stock and hatching eggs can be sold within the United States and exported to other countries.
New Veterinary Services
The new 3500-square-foot (325-square-meter) Veterinary Services building houses the Elkmont internal veterinarians, biosecurity and welfare compliance experts, and farm monitoring staff, representing a team of approximately 20; the company plans to hire additional personnel in response to continued growth. The goal of this team is to continually monitor and safeguard Aviagen internal flocks.
“As we broaden the reach of our business, our commitment is to make sure the best-quality chicks are delivered to our customers, both domestically and internationally. The expansion of our Elkmont facility supports this mission, enabling us to continually improve bird health with leading diagnostic services and monitoring capabilities, modern equipment and the industry’s most advanced expertise,” reported Dr. Eric Jensen, Vice President of Veterinary Services for Aviagen North America.