- freeimages.com/creationcOfficials from the State of Georgia dedicated a new poultry laboratory that will replace the lab that is nearly 50 years old.
Georgia officials on January 9 dedicated a new state-of-the-art poultry laboratory replacing a facility that is nearly 50 years old.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Georgia Poultry Laboratory in Gainesville. The 39,500-square-foot laboratory facility can process diagnostic tests while allowing visitors – from foreign trade delegates to local school children – the chance to watch science in action.
The new lab replaces an aging facility in the nearby Georgia town of Oakwood, and is complemented by several smaller regional labs around the state.
“Georgia’s poultry lab network has played an integral role in protecting the state’s flocks for decades,” said Mike Giles, president of the Georgia Poultry Federation.
The lab network works with the commercial poultry industry to keep the flock healthy and provides services from disease monitoring and testing to chick quality assurance to hatchery inspections.
The facility was designed to be more than just a lab, according to Dr. Louise Dufour-Zavala, executive director of the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network. A mezzanine around the lab area allows for visitors to watch the diagnostic work, while maintaining a bio-secure lab space.
“We want to have the opportunity to expose young people to science and technology, but this will also provide for delegations from other countries to visit the labs and see that the tests are done properly and according to protocol,” said Giles.
The $13 million facility will meet the state’s current needs, but also is adaptable for the future and can quickly ramp up the quantity and speed of testing in the event of an outbreak, he said. Cutting edge technology – like robotics to handle tests for avian flu – allow for quick, accurate processing.
“We are excited to have a world-class facility to house the world-class staff of the lab network,” Giles said. “For what this facility does, we think it’s the best in the world.”