Regional News

Dr. Brian Joseph appointed new state veterinarian at WSDA

Oct 31, 2016

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has selected a veterinarian with 40 years of experience in veterinary medicine as its new state veterinarian. 

Dr. Brian Joseph has held senior veterinarian and animal health positions in zoos, aquariums and nature centers in the U.S. and Canada and was chief veterinarian at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma for six years. Most recently, Dr. Joseph was senior director of animal management and conservation at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Dr. Joseph will start with WSDA on Nov. 14.

Dr. Joseph holds a bachelor of science in zoology from San Diego State University and a doctorate of veterinary medicine from the University of California, Davis.

While serving in the US Army, he participated in missions focusing on health and disease control of animals such as cattle, chickens, pigs, sheep, goats and horses around the world, including the Middle East, Central America and Africa.

“Dr. Joseph comes to us with a firm understanding of regulating animal health, working in government and engaging the community,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said. “Our interview panel included Animal Services Division staff and industry stakeholders. We’re excited about our selection and eager to support his work for animal welfare and our livestock industry.”

As the new state veterinarian, Dr. Joseph reports to Sandison and will be responsible for policies related to animal health. He also will work with the agency’s partners and livestock stakeholders. The broad goals of the State Veterinarian’s Office and the Animal Services Division are to protect and enhance animal health and animal wellbeing, promote the economic vitality of the livestock industry, and safeguard Washington residents by identifying and limiting exposure to zoonotic diseases that could affect humans.

Dr. Scott Haskell, hired in August as assistant state veterinarian, will continue in that role, responsible for daily operations of the Animal Health program. 

Washington’s livestock industry is a major component of the state’s diverse agriculture. Milk is Washington’s second ranking agricultural commodity, cattle and calves rank third and egg production is the eighth ranking commodity.


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