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New lab to enhance animal and human health protection


Abbotsford, BC – Construction will begin next month on a high-tech lab that will allow the British Columbia to respond faster and more efficiently to animal disease incidents.

The Containment Level 3 (CL3) lab, to be built by Vanbots Construction, will be an addition to the existing Animal Health Centre in Abbotsford and will allow for bacterial and viral testing.

Construction of the $14.5-million facility is anticipated to begin in mid-December and the lab is expected to be ready for operation by late 2007. Before it becomes operational, it will be tested and commissioned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

There were lessons to be learned from animal health incidents in 2004 and 2005, said Pat Bell, the province’s agriculture and lands minister. One is the need to deliver more timely results, which would allow us to get on the ground much more quickly and deal with the situation. The new lab will help us do that.