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Saturday, March 24 2018 @ 07:49 AM AKDT

Winter 2017/2018 Newsletter from the State Veterinarian

Pets and AnimalsFrom the Office of the State Veterinarian

As the State Veterinarian in the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), I am considered the “state animal health official” for Alaska, which stewards certain statutory powers to safeguard the health of the state’s animal resources and food produced from these resources. The statutory authority covers animal movement, quarantine, disease surveillance, permitting intrastate movement and imports, disease investigations, and emergency response. I also act as a central point of contact for my peers at the federal agencies (USDA, USFWS, USGS, NPS, NOAA) and for animal health officials in other states and countries. In addition to the Office of the State Veterinarian (OSV), several veterinary professionals in other state government agencies work closely with my office and with each other to ensure the health and well-being of animals and the public, as well as thriving wildlife populations and a robust agricultural industry.

My colleagues in the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Department of Health and Social Services, and the Department of Natural Resources, each have specialties and areas of expertise that work toward our shared goals of a safe, healthy, and prosperous Alaska. In this newsletter, I explain in detail how this veterinary network works in Alaska, and examples of how each agency contributes towards our shared mission.

Our goal is to protect environmental health, public health, and animal health in Alaska; to effectively support the wildlife, livestock, and domestic animal owners in the State, there must be a collaboration between all the agencies. This “One Health” model is universally accepted and is a worldwide strategy which recognizes that these disciplines are intricately related, and seeks to expand interdisciplinary collaborations and communications. This model is carried out in Alaska partly due to the OSV's close working relationship with a number of diverse community, state, and national partners. In this newsletter, you will find additional information about the different organizations and networks that the OSV works with to safeguard the health and food-producing capacity of Alaska's livestock, reindeer, and poultry, and prevent the transmission of animal disease to humans.

Wishing you a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year.


Dr. Robert Gerlach, VMD

State Veterinarian


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