Monday, May 2, 2022 1:30 p.m.
Additional services are being offered at BC’s Animal Health Center and Plant Health Laboratory as the Ministry of Agriculture and Food continues to repair and replace equipment damaged during the November 2021 floods, including the reopening today of the center’s exotic animal disease laboratory.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency recertified the foreign animal disease lab in late April, allowing testing to resume for diseases such as African swine fever and avian flu. The return of these services means testing can be done close to British Columbia’s farming communities in the Okanagan and Fraser Valleys, ensuring that BC farmers, veterinarians and healthcare professionals British receive results faster than samples sent out of province, helping to reduce emergency response time.
“Rehabilitation and operation of this facility has been a priority for the ministry, and with the recent threat of avian flu, it is of the utmost importance that we provide timely testing and results to the farming community. of British Columbia,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture and Food. “As we continue to work to get everything back up and running, we will be looking at short and long-term options on how we can not only restore but improve the services we offer in our Plant and Animal Health Center laboratories.
The resumption of exotic animal disease testing follows the reopening of the Plant Health Laboratory, including entomology services, on April 11 and the Animal Health Center accepting samples for serology services on March 21, as well as the histology and parasitology departments in mid-April.
Bacteriology, virology and molecular diagnostic services, as well as limited post-mortem services, are expected to resume in the coming weeks. Post-mortem examination services will initially be limited to poultry and tissue samples only, as repairs continue on the equipment needed to provide a full range of post-mortem services, including for large livestock and other animals.
A full update on services currently offered, along with information on alternative services, is available on the ministry’s website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood /animals-and-crops/ plant-health/plant-health-laboratory