The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory was formally opened in College Station in 1969. Over the years services have expanded to include over sight for drug testing for the pari-mutuel horse and greyhound racing industries as well as providing diagnostic services for aquaculture and animal agriculture.
Today it’s one of the busiest labs in the world, as Joe brown tells us in this week’s From The Ground Up.
"In College Station alone we’ll receive about 700 submissions a day. Throughout the year we receive anywhere from two hundred to two hundred thousand submissions a year, and we’ll run over a million tests a year in the laboratories. We can do testing as just part of a wellness program or we can do testing following an issue identification."
Dr. Tammy Beckham is director of the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab.
"We have very quick turn around times here. You can get results the same day on several of the tests that we run which is critical to our veterinarians being able to make a diagnosis, and so other tests take longer, if we’re going to culture for instance, that can take a while to grow an organism."
This lab is part of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, and one of twelve core laboratories across the country.
"We do surveillance testing for these high consequence diseases that cause things to be elevated to the national level. High consequence diseases are generally those diseases that have large impacts in the industries from an economical point of view.
So we as a laboratory are prepared to respond to those from a testing point of view, providing that surveillance and response capacity to eliminate those diseases if they were to occur in the state."
Beckham says good communication between all parties is crucial.
"There’s very clear communications channels on how that information gets communicated to our industries, and to the regulatory authorities, so that we can make sure that we have the most effective response capacity there, and we always make calls whether we have that or whether we don’t have it, based on good clear diagnostic results, something that we are sure that we know is true."
I’m Joe Brown, taking a look at The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab, working behind the scenes to help maintain the world’s safest and most abundant food supply, From The Ground Up.