The N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System recently received full accreditation for a five-year period by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians after a review of the system’s labs was conducted in September. The lab system is comprised of Rollins Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Raleigh, Arden Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Fletcher, Elkin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Elkin, and Griffin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Monroe. The N.C. lab system first received full AAVLD accreditation in 2008.
“To receive and maintain full accreditation is quite an accomplishment because the standards are rigorous. All four labs worked very hard to maintain our accreditation,” said State Veterinarian David Marshall. “The accreditation is a more than just a feather in our cap, though. It is imperative for our international trade status as well. As a state, we export roughly 40 percent of our meat and poultry products. Much of that product gets tested through our lab system and the testing must be valid or our trade partners won’t accept it. This accreditation affirms that our testing is accurate and reliable.”
The NCVDLS was established in 1947 to assist veterinarians and producers in diagnosing livestock and poultry diseases. Surveillance testing is performed as required for the import, export and interstate movement of livestock and poultry. The labs are accredited for all species, and in recent years, the number of submissions for companion animal testing has risen dramatically. The Rollins Laboratory is one of the 12 original core laboratories that are part of the USDA’s National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Rollins has the ability to perform rapid molecular diagnostic tests for endemic animal diseases, as well as targeted surveillance and response testing for foreign animal diseases. Specimens for procedures not routinely performed by the laboratory system can be outsourced to USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, or other reference laboratories for testing. The number of laboratory submissions has steadily increased through the years and comprised 32,583 accessions involving 1,865,316 actual tests for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
“I am proud of State Veterinarian Dr. David Marshall and Dr. Karen Post who oversee the laboratory system,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We have a top-notch veterinary diagnostic system, which serves as the first line of defense to our more than $17 billion livestock and poultry industry.”