New Poultry Facility Construction Approved

TEXAS - Construction has been approved for a new building for the state poultry diagnostic laboratory in Gonzales.
calendar icon 20 August 2008
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The facility will expand both the space and the capacity for testing specimens submitted for poultry disease detection at the Gonzales lab. Since 1991, the lab has been operated by the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory, a service agency of the Texas A&M System.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of our former poultry lab director, Dr Sam Glass and his wife, Sally,” said Dr Tammy Beckham, director of the state veterinary medical diagnostic laboratory. “Their gift of a prime parcel of land in Gonzales will make this laboratory possible.

Because it is strategically located in a major poultry production area, the laboratory will continue to serve primarily commercial poultry companies, as well as veterinarians and individual producers of domestic fowl, game and exotic birds, Dr Beckham said.

“The routine diagnostic testing performed here also provides the surveillance necessary to detect and contain potential outbreaks of high-consequence diseases such as exotic Newcastle disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza (bird flu),” she added.

The new laboratory will be built on the 1200 block of Sarah DeWitt Drive (Highway 90A East). The old lab building, located about one mile away, will become the property of Gonzales County after construction is completed on the new facility, according to Dr José Linares, the Gonzales lab’s current director.

“The Glasses have had a long history of dedicated service to the poultry industry, which continues even today,” Dr Beckham said.

Sam Glass, a native of Gonzales, graduated in 1960 from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. In 1963, he became director of Texas A&M’s South Texas Poultry Research Station, Poultry Disease Laboratory in Gonzales. After the field station was closed, the Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory was erected in its current location in 1971. Dr Glass served as the lab’s director until his retirement in 1997.

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