The USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, opened its new research facility during a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the U.S. National Poultry Research Center.

The new research facility will increase the Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory staff's capabilities to respond to highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks as they provide research information for eradication and control, as well as data for control of Newcastle disease, reoviruses, infectious bursal disease, Marek's disease and other exotic and emerging viruses of poultry and other birds.

Key leaders including USDA's under secretary for Research, Education, and Economics and USDA's chief scientist, Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, spoke about the importance of this kind of infrastructure investment in poultry research during the ceremony.

"This modernized facility will serve as the largest poultry research complex in the United States, housing the largest number of researchers and staff dedicated to preventing, discovering, and solving poultry health problems," said Under Secretary Jacobs-Young.

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The Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory is a key part of the U.S. National Poultry Research Center and a crucial asset to addressing poultry viral diseases at the state, national and international levels.

The laboratory has been at the forefront of developing the molecular test used in the United States and globally to diagnose avian influenza and Newcastle disease, developing vaccines for emergency use and commercial application, tracking the virus movement and spread and understanding how to break the transmission cycle.