December 15, 2008


Canada to open new laboratory for animal diseases


A new laboratory in Canada will open at the beginning of 2009 that can test for diseases such as bird flu.


Agriculture Minister Stan Hagen said this is the only facility in Canada that is associated with a provincial veterinary lab to diagnose diseases that can transfer from animals to humans.


Hagen ensures that the lab is fully prepared to identify and respond to incidents of animal disease faster and more efficiently. This proactive step will not only benefit animals but also the industry and the public.


The lab's advanced testing means fewer samples will need to be sent to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's lab in Winnipeg.


He said the new CAD$14 million testing facility is an addition to the existing Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford, B.C., the hub of the Fraser Valley agricultural area, and will provide more protection for animals.

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