Dr. Guillermo Zavala, an independent clinical avian medicine consultant specializing in controlling infectious diseases in commercial poultry and egg flocks, has joined the staff of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) as director of Veterinary Services.
Zavala spent 11 years on the faculty at the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine before forming Avian Health International LLC in 2014, which serves poultry and egg industry clients worldwide. He remains an adjunct professor of veterinary medicine at the university and teaches avian medicine students.
A native of Mexico City, Zavala received a degree in veterinary medicine and animal husbandry in 1984 with a specialty in poultry production in 1985 from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM). During his time at UNAM, he was a resident surgeon specializing in small animal orthopedics.
After graduation, Zavala worked for two years as a corporate veterinarian at CAM in Morelos, Mexico, prior to joining Salsbury Laboratories, Mexico, where for three years he was director of veterinary services.
Zavala came to the U.S. for advanced studies at Texas A&M University, and transferred to the University of Georgia (UGA) in 1992. He holds a master of avian medicine, a master of science in medical microbiology, a doctorate in medical microbiology, and was a post-doctoral fellow in molecular retrovirology.
Upon completing his studies, Zavala was director of veterinary services at Avian Farms International for six years and at Merial Laboratories for a year before accepting a two-year research fellowship at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
Returning to Georgia, Zavala worked as a pathologist and virologist for seven years at the Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network before joining the UGA faculty in 2003.
Zavala is married to Dr. Louise Dufour Zavala, executive director of the Georgia Poultry Laboratory, who is also a veterinarian. The Zavalas met at the International Poultry Exposition in Atlanta.
USAPEEC President Jim Sumner said that he is excited to have a veterinarian with Zavala’s credentials on the organization’s staff. “Guillermo brings an extra technical dimension to USAPEEC,” Sumner said. “His expertise on poultry diseases will be an ideal complement to Dr. Shelly McKee, our food safety expert, and will strengthen our technical services for our members.”