Agriculture Department breaks ground on new veterinary laboratory

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HARRISBURG, Pa. — Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff helped break ground for a new laboratory which will help protect Pennsylvanians from potentially dangerous animal health emergencies.

Located by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg, the new lab is part of the Pennsylvania Animal Diagnostic Laboratory system, the front line of defense in preventing disease outbreaks.

The lab is designated a bio-safety Level 3 (BSL-3) facility that will allow for animal diseases of heightened concerns that could have enormous safety and economic impacts to be detected and diagnosed early.

Facility

This facility will provide a bio-secure and safe working environment for staff conducting diagnostic procedures and laboratory investigations, and for disposing contaminated waste with state-of-art equipment designed to deal with highly contagious bacteria, viruses and agents.

Commission

The Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission designed the statewide lab system which includes the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory in Harrisburg, the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Penn State University and the labs at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center.

Guided by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services, the commission is in its 20th year with membership including Secretary Dennis Wolff, acting Health Department Secretary Everette James, legislators, veterinarians and agricultural producers.

Responsibility

The bureau is responsible for the control and eradication of diseases in livestock and poultry, which affect human health or cause significant economic loss to farmers.

It also administers regulatory programs for animal health certification, containment of diseased animals and elimination of disease agents.

Together with regulatory inspections and testing programs, the bureau uses public outreach and educational programs to ensure Pennsylvania residents consume foods which meet the highest standards.

To learn more about the bureau, commission or the new laboratory, visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us.

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