Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, has appointed Rayna Gunvaldsen as British Columbia’s new chief veterinarian.
Gunvaldsen holds a doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the University of Saskatchewan with an emphasis on herd health and regulatory medicine. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master of science in veterinary medicine, focusing on large animal clinical sciences and swine influenza.
Gunvaldsen has worked on disease outbreaks throughout Western Canada, including chronic wasting disease, bovine tuberculosis and salmonella. She is trained in emergency preparedness and management.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Gunvaldsen began her veterinary career as a swine veterinarian, providing herd-health services to pig producers. After completing her masters, Gunvaldsen joined the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as Saskatchewan’s foreign animal disease veterinarian and continued in various positions with the CFIA and the Government of Alberta.
The chief veterinarian supports the sustainability of animal agriculture in B.C. through the development and implementation of sound livestock health and regulatory management policies. Gunvaldsen will be based at the B.C. Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford.
Gunvaldsen takes over this role from Jane Pritchard, who recently retired after serving as B.C.’s chief veterinarian since 2013.