Poultry industry diagnostics transitions to UCVM effective March 31, 2021
Airdrie, ALBERTA — A new era in the evolution of one of Canada’s leading poultry-focused veterinary consulting practices is underway.
Poultry Health Services based in Airdrie, Alberta, is following through on the industry’s long envisioned plans to transition out of the component of its business focused on providing diagnostic service on contract with the province’s Poultry Industry Boards. Effective March 31, 2021, the industry contract will be serviced by the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM).
The shift enables Poultry Health Services to now focus more heavily on its innovative model of enhanced integrated approaches – including leading-edge high-ROI opportunities – that have become primary priorities for serving its rapidly expanding customer base across Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
“We would like to thank the Alberta industry for its support – it has been our privilege to fulfill this contract for many years,” says Dr. Tom Inglis, Founder and Managing Partner of Poultry Health Services. “The understanding has always been that it would eventually shift to a university or government role when the time was right. That time has now come and we wish UCVM well in handling this role for the industry.”
Building on strong history
The contract has been a core part of the history of Poultry Health Services. The company was founded in 2002 by Inglis in response to a request from the Alberta industry to fulfill its diagnostic service contract needs.
It’s important producers who need diagnostic services under the Poultry Industry Boards contract now engage with UCVM, notes Inglis. “We will maintain leading-edge diagnostics capacity for our current customers and a limited number of new direct contracts, but the industry contract work will now be done solely by UCVM. We want to get behind the new service and support them and we know directly that the best way to support diagnostics is to give them cases.”
New generation of progress
The transition is a key step in the evolution of Poultry Health Services as it continues to steadily advance and expand its unique integrated model spanning consulting services for poultry health, management and optimized production. This includes a growing focus on science and data-driven approaches to generate synergies between health, nutrition and management in the context of optimal efficiency, sustainability and Return On Investment. From an integrated animal health standpoint, the primary focus of the company has increasingly shifted to a proactive disease prevention approach.
“We continue to advance our capacity to drive progress for the industry in all the provinces and US companies we serve,” says Inglis. “It’s an exciting time. The poultry industry continues to modernize and innovate. With advances in science and our integrated model there has never been more opportunity to take our customer’s operations to new levels of performance and results. The global Covid-19 pandemic has drawn us into the world of human health and working on therapeutics and testing which is a daunting but highly meaningful challenge.”
Teamwork drives success
In addition to the foundational role of Inglis, Poultry Health Services notes a special acknowledgment of the dedication of Dr. Darko Mitevski to build diagnostics and vaccine programs for the industry in Alberta; train several generations of veterinarians and students; and establish the company’s diagnostic lab. Drs. Jenny Fricke, Kathleen Long, Ben Schlegel and Luke Nickel, to name a few, over many years have also provided valuable recommendations for Alberta producers under the industry contract. The growing Poultry Health Services team is now stronger than ever with expanded offerings and its new phase of advancement. Drs. Schlegel and Nickel are now Managing Partners and are leading the team’s Ontario and British Columbia divisions respectively.
Many additional Poultry Health Service staff past and present have also made strong contributions. For example, Julijana Mitevska grew the lab from basic serology in 2005 to a full service, Level 2 diagnostic lab system accepting samples from across North America. The lab has also supported the development of new testing systems and methodologies along with research projects and students. Lorrie Kadylo has been on every Hatching egg and Turkey farm in Alberta many times and has helped producers and the boards with OFFS and welfare audits along with research projects and emergency support. To serve industry better and provide valuable deeper data, numerous staff supported the development of a unique lab management software that is now used across North America.
Bright horizons ahead
“It has been a huge honor for our company to support the poultry board’s members over these last 17 years and help to build the diagnostic and poultry vet capacity in Alberta,” says Mitevski. “We are looking forward to continuing to provide industry leading services, under our expanded offerings, for a new generation of progress.” Learn more about Poultry Health Services at www.poultryhealth.ca.