News 1860 views update:Mar 9, 2016

Texan University opens new avian health complex

A new avian health complex has been opened at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM), which hosts one of the top avian medicine programs in the US.

The new climate-controlled aviary, which is located at 701 Farm Service Road in College Station, will provide a comfortable and safe environment for a variety of birds in various conditions, CVM officials note. The original complex was founded in 1987 with an endowment established by the late Richard M. Schubot and matching funds provided by the university. The commitment to avian medicine demonstrates Texas A&M's understanding of the important role birds play in ecosystems and disease transmission across all species.

Infectious disease research

Containing approximately 11,000 square feet of floor space, the state-of-the-art complex includes a functional hospital, receiving area with quarantine capabilities, three isolation rooms, a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory for infectious disease research and separate areas for infected and healthy birds, along with teaching, classroom and office space.

The centre conducts research into all aspects of diseases in wild and captive birds, as well as avian genetics, genomics, nutrition, and behaviour. The results of research at the centre are already being applied to improve the health of birds kept by zoos, aviculturists, and individual pet owners, as well as conserving threatened avian species in the wild.

Promote an understanding of avian diseases

The new centre provides better teaching facilities, not only for undergraduates and veterinary medical students, but also for continuing education and other courses – all the while promoting an understanding of avian diseases, husbandry, and conservation among current and future veterinarians. The enlarged and enhanced facilities also provide space for specialised birds, such as raptors, for which the students can learn appropriate handling, care, and treatment.

"Our faculty 
have made substantial contributions to the health and welfare 
of birds and to the avian industry in terms of educating future and current veterinarians," said Dr Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. "As leaders in avian medicine, we train the next generation of veterinarians and scientists to continue this important mission. This facility provides the laboratory, avian housing, and classroom space that will allow this program to continue to thrive."

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