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Latest Lab News & Annual Reports



New Laboratory Director Hired
By burtash - 4/1/2014 The Department of Agriculture and Industries welcomes Dr. David Pugh as the Director of the  State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System.  Dr. Pugh comes to us from the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine and is one of the first charter parasitologists of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.  He earned his BSA,  DVM, and  MS degrees from the University of Georgia, and his MAg in Agricultural Entomology (External Pararsites) from Auburn University. He received post-DVM training at Virginia Tech (Equine Clinical Nutrition) and Texas A & M University (Theriogenology). He is a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenology (1986), the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (1992), and the American College of Veterinary Microbiology (Parasitology 2011).

Tests Discontinued Effective January 2013
By webmaster - 3/2/2014 As of January 23, 2013 we have discontinued testing for fumonisin, zearalenone, and deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin) at the Alabama Diagnostic Laboratories. These tests are available, either forwarded by us or by submitting directly to the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center.

Toxic Algae Threaten Livestock Health
By webmaster - 6/21/2013 Maintaining health herds is fundamental for producers. Livestock health can be negatively affected by a number of factors including drinking water quality. Although delivery methods vary, man-made ponds serve as an important source of drinking water and cooling for livestock around Alabama. 

Cosmetic Necropsies
By webmaster - 11/27/2012 Due to public health and safety concerns, as of November 19, 2012 we will no longer perform cosmetic necropsies or return animal remains. We will still allow cremation service companies to pick up animals for private cremations at the Auburn Laboratory (except in the case of animals that have tested positive for rabies or otherwise carry an increased risk of disease transmission). Cremation is a separate service offered by outside companies, and will need to be arranged by the animal’s owner before the animal is submitted.

Dr. Hoerr Retires
By webmaster - 4/2/2012 Dr. Fred Hoerr, director of the State Diagnostic Laboratory, retired Feb. 29 after 31 years with the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries and Auburn University. Dr. Hoerr served the College of Veterinary Medicine, first as affiliate faculty and later as professor of avian pathology, through a joint appointment with the State Diagnostic Laboratory. He was honored with Professor Emeritus status during his retirement reception on Feb. 28.

Dr. Sara Rowe was named Interim Director of the Alabama Veterinary State Diagnostic Laboratories
By webmaster - 4/2/2012 Dr. Rowe is a 1983 graduate of the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine.  She also holds a BS and MS in microbiology from Auburn University.   Dr. Rowe has been with the State Diagnostic Laboratory in Auburn since 1992.  During that time, she has served as Section Head of Bacteriology and Serology.  Prior to this, Dr. Rowe was with USDA for 2 years and the AU College of Veterinary Medicine for 7 years.   Contact Info:  rowesar@auburn.edu and  phone 334-844-7213.  

Veterinary Students Learn about Diagnostic Lab
By webmaster - 1/5/2012 Auburn 2nd-year veterinary students recently received instruction on diagnostic laboratory purpose, services, and usage. The laboratory was organized by Dr. Paul Smith, visiting professor of infectious diseases.  Students learned about the partnership of state diagnostic laboratories and the USDA, and the role of state laboratories in disease diagnosis and regulatory medicine. Laboratory staff demonstrated proper specimen collection, packaging of specimens, and compliance with shipping regulations.

Auburn Lab Awarded Full Accreditation
By webmaster - 1/5/2012 The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) has awarded the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory Full Accreditation through 2016. This marks the first AAVLD Accreditation since the lab was organized in 1947. The accreditation process involved an intensive 3-year implementation of quality system management, culminating in a 4-day audit by the AAVLD in August 2011.   Quality system implementation in the regional laboratories for AAVLD accreditation started in September 2011 and will follow a similar process.  For more information on AAVLD accreditation see http://aavld.memberclicks.net/accreditation.

Laboratory Visitors
By webmaster - 11/16/2011 Honors Science students (above) from Coosa High School in Rome, Georgia toured the diagnostic laboratory on November 11. Science instructors Mr. Bill Daughtry (at far left) and Mr. Jason Purser (at far right) organized the tour. 

2011 Holiday Schedule
By webmaster - 10/31/2011 Governor Robert Bentley has declared the 2011 holiday schedule for state agencies. The state diagnostic laboratories will be closed on the following days (in addition to the associated weekend).

Website Revisions
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 A revised fee schedule reflects the fee change of April 2011. In response to client requests, the fee revision has a detailed listing of individual tests and the preferred specimens.

Auburn Laboratory Scheduled for Accreditation Audit
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 The Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory is scheduled for an accreditation audit by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians on August 28-31. The laboratory has been working on the accreditation process for three years. This is the first AAVLD Accreditation audit for a state diagnostic laboratory in Alabama.

Recent Presentations at State and Regional Meetings
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 The following are recent presentations made by diagnosticians of the Alabama Veterinary Diagnostic Lab at both state and regional meetings. 

Leadership Transition at Hanceville Laboratory
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 We bid farewell to Dr. Sam Christenberry, Director and Diagnostician at the Hinton-Michem Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory on May 30, 2011. Dr. Christenberry provided excellent diagnostic services to poultry and livestock producers in the north central Alabama. We wish him success in his new position.

Summer Interns at Auburn Laboratory
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 The following students are volunteering at the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory this summer.

Recent Externships at Auburn Laboratory
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 Mr. Justin Paget, AUCVM 2nd year veterinary student, 2-week externship, May 2011.

Lab Will No Longer Accept Specimens for Necropsy After Hours
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 Important Notice:

Impact of State Funding Crisis on the Diagnostic Laboratories
By webmaster - 7/8/2011 The 15% proration declared for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, and the 30% proration anticipated for FY 12 are deeply affecting the Department of Agriculture and Industries. The diagnostic laboratories were largely spared layoffs, but two employees were lost at the Auburn lab (IT manager and necropsy technician). Pending legislative approval, furloughs remain a possibility and will effectively reduce staffing at all laboratories. We are working with the State Veterinarian’s office to offset additional budget shortages that could affect laboratory operations. While we endeavor to provide uninterrupted service of high quality, some changes will quickly take effect and impact laboratory users.

Alabama Farmers Federation members attending the 38th annual Commodity Producers Conference Tour Laboratory
By woffojl - 7/7/2011 Alabama Farmers Federation members attending the 38th Annual Commodity Producers Conference toured the Thompson-Bishop-Sparks State Diagnostic Laboratory on August 6, 2010.

Small Flock Owners Assistance
By woffojl - 7/7/2011 Small poultry flock owners can obtain tips on using the diagnostic laboratories in this article from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Submitting Samples. 

Recent Visitors to the Lab
By woffojl - 7/7/2011 Representatives of Murray State University in Murray, KY visited the Auburn laboratory on October 1, 2010. Dr. Tony Brannon, Dean of the School of Agriculture, Mr. Paul Radke, Development Officer, and Dr. Wade Northington, Director of the Breathitt Veterinary Center in Hopkinsville, KY reviewed laboratory operations and design features.

Laboratory Veterinarians Featured in National Publication
By woffojl - 7/7/2011 Dr. Samuel Christenberry of the Hinton Michem Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory (Hanceville) and Dr. Joel Cline, J. B. Taylor Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Elba) were recently featured in a national poultry health newsletter.

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Last Modified: 7/7/2011