Office of the State Veterinarian
- 5251 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
- Anchorage, AK 99507
The Office of the State Veterinarian (OSV) is part of the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Division of Environmental Health. It is responsible for carrying out a variety of programs protective of both animal and human health, which in turn safeguard the health and food production capacity of Alaska’s livestock, reindeer, and poultry, and prevent the transmission of animal diseases to humans.
The OSV operates within the “One Health” model. This model is a worldwide strategy which recognizes that human, animal, and environmental health are intricately related and seeks to expand interdisciplinary collaborations and communications across these health disciplines. The collaboration amongst animal health, environmental health, and public health agencies is demonstrated by the OSV’s close working relationship with a number of diverse community, state, and national partners.
- Animal Health and Disease
- The OSV is responsible for the prevention, control, and eradication of animal diseases in all animals in the state, including livestock and pets. This includes disease surveillance, coordinating emergency response in the event of a disease outbreak or natural disaster, coordinating with state and local partners to ensure animal welfare standards are met, and working with producers to meet requirements for national animal health certification programs.
- Animal Imports and Exports
- The OSV establishes import requirements for animals brought into Alaska, and ensures compliance with national animal disease traceability regulations.
- The OSV performs oversight of the dairy industry in accordance with the FDA’s Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance and ensures that milk and milk products sold into commerce are manufactured, sold, and delivered in a safe and wholesome condition.
- Fish Tissue Monitoring
- The OSV coordinates the collection and analysis of Alaska fish species for mercury, trace metals, radionuclides, and other environmental contaminants. Industry, regulators, scientists, and the public benefit from the information this program provides by being able to make informed decisions about fish consumption and the impact of environmental contaminants on commercial and subsistence fisheries in Alaska.
- Produce Safety Program
- With a focus on food safety, the OSV collaborates with federal partners and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service to implement the federally-required Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR). The Produce Safety Program educates produce growers about safe growing, harvesting, and handling practices, in order to provide safe fresh fruits and vegetables to the public. It also provides inspections for farms who are required to follow federal regulations and standards.
Staff Contact Information
- Dr. Robert Gerlach, VMD
- State Veterinarian
- Dr. Sarah Coburn, DVM, MS
- Assistant State Veterinarian
- Dr. Christoff Furin, PhD
- Fish Program Manager
- Matthew Labrenz
- Dairy Sanitarian/Produce Safety Specialist
- Dr. Dena Cologgi, PhD
- Program Coordinator