• Thu. May 30th, 2024

The Indiana Animal Health Board Establishes Avian Division


Mar 26, 2024

Beginning April 1, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) is launching a new program division called Avian Health. BOAH Veterinarian Maria Cooper, DVM, has been appointed as the Avian Health Division Director. The creation of the Avian Health Division underscores the importance of poultry production in Indiana, according to Indiana State Veterinarian Dr. Bret D. Marsh. The agency has a history of handling highly pathogenic avian influenza events and the new division demonstrates BOAH’s dedication to protecting the health of commercial poultry from serious diseases.

Poultry and eggs represent the fourth largest agricultural commodity in Indiana, generating over $1 billion in sales. Indiana leads the nation in duck production and ranks third in total egg production and pounds of turkey raised. With the establishment of the Avian Health Division, Cooper will shift from her current role as Senior Director of Planning to focus primarily on poultry health. Avian Health will be the fourth public-facing division within BOAH, bringing together a team of experts to coordinate health programs for all poultry sectors in Indiana.

Joining Cooper in the Avian Health Division are Dr. Michael Kopp, who has served the commercial poultry sector at BOAH for four decades, and Chelsie Leatherman, a Poultry Health Specialist who joined BOAH in November 2023. The team will work closely with producers on National Poultry Improvement Plan certification and other health initiatives. Cooper expressed her excitement about the new role, highlighting her experience in various roles at BOAH and her strong foundation in emergency preparedness, animal health, animal care, and food safety.

Having worked closely with Indiana’s top-ranking poultry sectors over the past decade, Cooper is eager to focus her efforts on poultry health programs and issues. She looks forward to contributing to the energy, growth, and innovation in the poultry and egg production industry in Indiana.

By editor

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