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Dr. Doug Balthaser, Interim State Veterinarian and Assistant Commissioner for Animal Health

Dr. Doug Balthaser

Dr. Doug Balthaser is responsible for monitoring and protecting animal health in Tennessee, and working with private veterinarians, animal pathologists, and a network of animal disease diagnostic laboratories to identify diseases and make a definitive diagnosis in cases of animal deaths. The State Veterinarian is also responsible for the certification and enforcement of animal health standards required for interstate commerce of livestock and livestock products, as well as cooperation with federal animal health officials in accrediting Tennessee's practicing private veterinarians. His responsibilities also include coordinating emergency support during disasters and overseeing the animal traceability program.

Dr. Balthaser grew up on an Angus cattle farm and showed market steers in 4-H and FFA for 10 years. He graduated from UT College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and worked for nearly thirty years in private veterinary practice. Dr. Balthaser first joined TDA part-time in 2004, assisting counties in development of Disaster Animal Response Teams. He became a full-time staff veterinarian with TDA in 2011.

Dr. Balthaser has taken over on an interim basis for Dr. Charlie Hatcher, who was sworn in as Tennessee’s 38th Commissioner of Agriculture on Jan. 19.