FRESNO—This year, on the 30th Anniversary of the Armenian Technology Group’s service to the people of Armenia and Artsakh, the A.T.G. Board is pleased to share with you, our supporters, that Armenia’s agricultural sector now has the capability to address the health needs of its livestock industry.
Armenia is now equipped with a Central Diagnostic Laboratory headquartered in Avan, adjacent to Yerevan, as well as Portable Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories stationed in five major cattle-concentrated areas in the country, namely Yerevan, Vanadzor, Ijevan, Kavar, and Goris in the Sissian region. The CVDL was mainly funded and built by United States Government agencies, whereas the PVDL’s, were initiated and provided by the Fresno, California-based Armenian Technology Group, Inc., funded by our generous, diaspora (USA) based donors.
The CVDL is responsible for overall containment of zoonotic and other animal-borne transmissible diseases, such as Anthrax, Brucellosis, Bird Flu, Rabies, Foot and Mouth diseases, whereas the PVDL’s that are stationed at the five Regional Veterinary Service Centers complement the vital role carried out by the CVDL, providing on-farm and on-site rapid services to the livestock industry and dairymen.
Earlier this year, Dr. James P. Reynolds, D.V.M., President of the A.T.G. Board of Directors, and Varoujan Der Simonian, Executive Director of A.T.G., revisited previously stationed PVDL’s and toured the Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. They met with the head of the CVDL and Armenia’s chief veterinarian, Perch Tumanyan, D.V.M., Arman Grigoryan, and Georgi Avetisyan, Director of State Food Safety Services, who also oversees veterinary services in the country.
The PVDL’s are easy to transport, they do not require any special transportation method; they could be placed in any vehicle and carried to a site where the health of a cattle requires immediate attention.
Within a short period of time, a designated veterinarian, with PVDL in possession, could arrive and quickly diagnose the health condition of a farm animal anywhere in Armenia. This rapid response time is crucial in containing a potential spread of animal-borne diseases to other animals, preventing, at the same time, probable loss to the farmer.
“We thank you for your invaluable contribution to this very important sector. I appreciate our partnership with the Armenian Technology Group. The portable veterinary diagnostic laboratories are extremely effective; they considerably improved our capabilities to diagnose and better serve the animal health industry,” stated Dr. Tumanian of the CVDL, “and, if necessary, we carry out follow-up tests here, at our central laboratories.”
The PVDL’s allow local veterinarians to provide fast and on-site diagnoses of the health of dairy and other livestock, wherever they might be: at farms, in the fields, or, during summer-time, while the animals are grazing in the mountains. “We would appreciate if A.T.G. can continue supplying the PVDL’s and the related consumable elements for our annual needs in the field,” Dr. Tumanian requested. Dr. Reynolds replied: “I am pleased that we were able to complete one of the objectives that our founding chairman, Dr. Arthur O. Hazarabedian, D.V.M., along with fellow colleagues and board members Robert [Bob] Bushnell, D.V.M. and Jack Mores, D.V.M., wanted to see accomplished. A fellow veterinarian and once a senior colleague of our profession, we have dedicated this Portable Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in his memory – for his devotion to the advancement of veterinary medicine in the United States, and to the service of the people of Armenia and humanity.”
Among many of his accomplishments, Dr. Hazarabedian was a past-president of the California Board of Examiners in Veterinary Medicine and the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. He served on the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for nine years.
A visionary and forward-looking thinker, Dr. Hazarabedian (1930-2003), in his conversations always used the term “Animal Health/ Public Health” in conjunction – a concept that is now being promoted as “One Health” initiative worldwide. Their website states, “Recognizing that human health (including mental health via the human-animal bond phenomenon), animal health and ecosystem health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve, and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing co-operation and collaboration between physicians, veterinarians, other scientific health and environmental professionals, and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals.” This is summarized in their vision statement, “One Health is dedicated to improving the lives of all species – human and animal – through the integration of human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental science.”
Varoujan Der Simonian, A.T.G.’s Executive Director, amplified, “In the early years of our operation, we had to focus our efforts on increasing wheat and legume production to help feed the people facing economic blockade, natural disaster, war, and hardship. Now, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of our mission, the A.T.G. Board of Directors would like to uphold the legacy of Dr. Arthur Hazarabedian, as well as his colleagues, Dr. Bob Bushnell and Dr. Jack Mores. In this regard, we humbly ask for contributions in his memory, so that we may continuously re-supply the five PVDL’s stationed in rural Armenia with enough consumables to suffice year-around. Helping the livestock industry to prosper will, after all, also encourage rural communities to stay in their villages.”
A.T.G. is a California-based 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. Tax-deductible donations may also be made online or mailed to Armenian Technology Group, Inc., P.O. Box 5929, Fresno CA 93755.