Upgrades to Prairie Diagnostic Services Lab Promise Improved Service

CANADA - Improvements being made to the diagnostics laboratory at the Western College Veterinary Medicine promise to improve the services it provides, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 13 March 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

The Western College Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan is in the midst of a major renovation and expansion of its diagnostic laboratory.

The lab is operated by Prairie Diagnostic Services a non profit organization owned jointly by the University and the government of Saskatchewan.

As part of the renovations additional biosecurity measures are being implemented to improve the facility's ability to safely handle potential foreign animal disease specimens should they be brought in and reduce any risk of contamination.

College Dean Dr. Charles Rhodes says the modifications will improve the lab's day to day efficiency and flexibility while at the same time allowing for rapid changes in how it would function in the midst of a foreign animal disease incursion.

Dr. Charles Rhodes-Western College Veterinary Medicine

It's important to be able to have maximum throughput of samples on daily basis to be able to meet the requirements of the users and to also, at the same time, have accuracy and consistency in the quality of the results.

At the end of the day that's all important because increasingly there's new tests that are developed that people are expecting and demanding.

In some cases these tests have particular requirements for equipment.

Some of this testing is seasonal relating to the production cycle with the livestock industry or wildlife or what have you and so we need to be sure that we design the lab that we can adjust to those seasonal variations in demand and properly service our clients but also do it in an efficient manner.

Dr. Rhodes notes one of the roles of the lab is monitoring and surveillance of livestock and wildlife populations, trying to identify disease problems early on, and he stresses you need a very strong and capable laboratory system to be able to support that and to do it accurately.

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