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Avian Health Complex Complete

Posted February 10, 2015

Avian Health Complex Completed

After years of planning and months of construction, the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) has a wonderful new teaching and research facility, the CVM Avian Health Complex. The new climate-controlled aviary, which celebrated its opening in October 2014, can house a population of 200–250 birds—many more than was possible in the previous facilities—in a comfortable and safe environment. Reaching approximately 11,000 square feet, it contains a functional hospital, a receiving area with quarantine capabilities, three isolation rooms, a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory for infectious disease research, separate areas for infected and healthy birds, teaching and classroom space, and an office.

Avian Health Complex Completed“Avian health is a notable area of excellence at the CVM,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “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, providing the highest level of avian patient care, and advancing the knowledge edge. As leaders in avian medicine, we also train the next generation of veterinarians and scientists to continue this important mission. This facility will provide the laboratory, avian housing, and classroom space that will allow this program not only to continue to thrive, but also to grow.”

The new facility will expand the capabilities of the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center at the CVM, founded in 1987 by an endowment from Mr. Richard M. Schubot with matching funds provided by Texas A&M University. The center conducts research into all aspects of diseases in wild and captive birds, as well as avian genetics, genomics, nutrition, and behavior. The results of research at the center 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.

“This is a beautiful facility that exemplifies the college’s commitment to exotic species and to conservation in general,” said Dr. Ian Tizard, the Richard M. Schubot Professor of Exotic Bird Health and Distinguished Professor of Immunology in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at the CVM. “It enhances our programs in environmental health and will be a magnificent resource for the whole college.”

The new center will provide better teaching facilities not only for undergraduates and DVM professional students, but for continuing education and other courses as well. The new building, with its dedicated teaching space, will better promote an understanding of avian diseases, husbandry, and conservation among current and future veterinarians. The enlarged and enhanced facilities will also provide space for specialized birds, such as raptors, for which the students can learn appropriate handling, care, and treatment.

Avian Health Complex Completed

“With a newer, more modern aviary, we will be able to attract more interest across the university and the college, leading to more collaborative efforts and more student involvement,” said Dr. Sharman M. Hoppes, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the CVM and a specialist in avian medicine.

“Although the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center is already known internationally in the avian world, many in our own university and community are unaware that we are here and what we have done or are doing in terms of both avian conservation and clinical diagnosis and treatment,” Hoppes said. “This new and improved aviary will increase our exposure and hopefully excite the community and encourage them to support our work in avian research and the care and management of our birds.”


Contact Information:

Megan Palsa
979-421-3121 (cell)

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