Arizona Department of Agriculture Director Mark Killian has announced the appointment of Dr. Peter Mundschenk as the new state veterinarian.
Dr. Mundschenk had been Acting State Veterinarian prior to accepting the position, according to a July 18 press release.
“Dr. Mundschenk’s professional history shows a deep dedication to all animal health,” said Leatta McLaughlin, associate director of Animal Services Division at the Department of Agriculture, in a prepared statement.
“After starting his own private practice working with large and small animals, he’s worked with federal, state and local governments establishing animal health programs to protect animals and the public.”
Since joining the department last year, Dr. Mundschenk created the Arizona program to protect the public and industry from avian influenza, the release states.
Part of the program includes staffing and funding for an outreach program to educate people with backyard chickens, ducks, geese and exotic birds. People often are in close contact in small poultry operations creating a risk of catching diseases that affect people and animals.
Dr. Mundschenk is responsible for the prevention and tracking of animal diseases. Many of which are a threat to public health through the food system and spreading through other close contact or vectors such as mosquitoes and flies.
The state veterinarian also provides veterinary oversight to the program that inspects meat and poultry operations.
“One of the top priorities for our state is having a strong State Veterinarian,” Mr. Killian said. “I know Dr. Mundschenk is the right person to support the agriculture industry, livestock businesses and the production of animal food in our state.”
Dr. Mundschenk replaces Dr. Perry Durham who left the Department last year, officials report.
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