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New $14M level 3 lab for animal health studies


Abbotsford, BC – A new $14-million containment level 3 laboratory has opened in southern British Columbia.

Built as an addition to the existing Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford, the newly constructed CL3 laboratory is the only facility of its kind in Canada associated with a provincial veterinary diagnostic laboratory. The new lab will save time and money by minimizing the number of samples sent to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s lab in Winnipeg in the event of a foreign animal disease outbreak. It also allows samples to be safely moved from the existing CL2 lab to the more secure CL3 lab for further testing on-site.

Some of the physical features of the laboratory include advanced air-filtration and waste handling systems, break-resistant glass, decontamination facilities and a sealed continuous containment barrier.

“This new laboratory will help ensure BC’s producers have access to some of the best animal health diagnostic services in the country,” said Garnet Etsell, chair of the BC Agriculture council. “This CL3 lab will help the agriculture industry ensure our products are healthy and safe.”

Construction of the lab began in December 2006 and was completed in October this year. The current laboratory facility is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) as a full-service diagnostic laboratory, one of only two laboratories in Canada to achieve this distinction. The new lab is being commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and is expected to be fully operational in early 2009.