COLUMBIA — Boyd Parr, South Carolina State Veterinarian and director of Clemson University’s Livestock Poultry Health (LPH) agency, was awarded an American Veterinary Medicine Foundation 2018 Paws Up Award.

The award recognized Parr and his agency for their efforts helping pet owners and food animal producers protect their animal loved ones and livelihoods from weather disasters.

Parr and Krugler holding award

Stave Veterinarian Boyd Parr (left) and Emergency Preparedness Veterinarian Charlotte Krugler

“Boyd and his agency have wonderfully managed many state and local disasters in an effort to protect animals in South Carolina and promote public health,” said Dr. Jan Strother, American Veterinary Medicine Foundation board member. “Last year, with back-to-back hurricanes, AVMF was very grateful for his exemplary disaster preparedness management and this award is to recognize his great coordination and communication in protecting all animals.”

2018 was unusually busy for Livestock Poultry Health as wind and rain from hurricanes Florence and Matthew battered parts of South Carolina and the southeastern U.S. Much of the state saw record amounts of rainfall.

As part of their statutory responsibilities, Livestock Poultry Health officials design and implement the state Emergency Support Function-17 in the state’s Emergency Operations Plan and coordinate with the South Carolina Emergency Operations Executive Group during disasters.

But the agency’s efforts go far beyond planning and communication. In 2018, Parr’s team used innovative mapping technology to give advanced warning to poultry and swine producers in the path of potentially devastating flooding, coordinated evacuation shelters and stables for small animals and horses and suspended certain requirements to enable neighboring states to evacuate animals to South Carolina.

Clemson Livestock Poultry Health also coordinates and trains the South Carolina Veterinary Reserve Corps, a team of volunteers dedicated to saving the lives of pets during natural disasters. And once the rain and wind has subsided, the agency plays a key role in helping farmers report and recover financial losses.

“I am very proud to accept this award on behalf of Clemson Livestock Poultry Health,” Parr said. “We have a dedicated group of professionals led by emergency preparedness veterinarian Dr. Charlotte Krugler who work tirelessly to support the health and well-being of companion and food animals during natural disasters.”

When Clemson Livestock Poultry Health isn’t dealing with disasters, it is protecting livestock and poultry from disease and protecting the health of South Carolina consumers by ensure meat and poultry products are safe, wholesome and accurately labeled. Livestock Poultry Health is also home to the state meat and poultry inspection department and the state’s veterinary diagnostic center.