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For Immediate Release: September 13, 2011
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced the appointment of Dr. Manoel Tamassia as New Jersey State Veterinarian, serving as Director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Animal Health.

Tamassia served as acting State Veterinarian since April and held the position of Principal Veterinarian and Assistant Division of Animal Health Director for the past 2 and a half years. 

“Dr. Tamassia is an experienced and caring professional who will work hard to protect the state’s animal population,” said Secretary Fisher.  “He recently put his skills to the test during Hurricane Irene when animal emergency teams had to be mobilized to protect the welfare of animals impacted by the storm and successfully accomplished that mission.”

Dr. Tamassia was raised in a farming family and entered engineering school, only to drop out six months later to pursue a veterinary degree at the Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Brazil.  He completed an internship and residency in Theriogenology -- a branch of veterinary medicine concerned with reproduction – while in Columbia, Missouri.  Upon completion of a Master of Science degree at the University of Missouri, he stayed on an additional year as an assistant instructor.  It was during that time that he completed the requirements for the ECFVG program, the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine equivalency for foreign graduates.

worked at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Illinois in the production medicine and theriogenology section for three years running farm calls and working with all sorts of farm animals. He returned to Brazil where he practiced and taught large animal production and reproduction until he moved to Paris, France to continue his education.  For four years he worked with in vitro fertilization and other advanced biotechnologies while finishing his graduate studies.  Dr. Tamassia returned to the U.S. to be an Assistant Professor in theriogenology at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois. He was an ambulatory clinical instructor for four years before moving to New Jersey.

In June 2009, Tamassia was awarded Diplomate from the American College of Theriogenologists.

“My goal as State Veterinarian is to keep our agricultural animals safe from foreign animal diseases at the same time assuring that they are being raised humanely,” said Dr. Tamassia.  “Treating animals humanely includes educating the population about the need of having plans to care for animals during disasters.  I also want to work with the veterinary community and offer them the services of our diagnostic laboratory.”

Since his arrival at the Department, Tamassia has been instrumental in successfully containing outbreaks of equine herpes virus, equine piroplasmosis and contagious equine metritis.  He has been involved in the performance of  numerous diseases and humane investigations, monitoring of chicken flocks for avian influenza and delivery of shelter and evacuation trailers for pets to several New Jersey counties.  He also conducted trainings on emergency preparedness.

The Division of Animal Health maintains disease control programs to protect the health and well-being of livestock in New Jersey. My Office is responsible for the prevention, control and eradication of domestic livestock diseases in New Jersey, emergency preparedness and care of animals during major disasters, and is responsible for enforcing the state’s laws regarding animal welfare.