Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Operations

$410,000 increase

Iowa State’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) processes 80,000+ cases from livestock and poultry producers in Iowa and across the country, and conducts more than 1.25 million tests each year – many with same-day results. The caseload has doubled in less than 10 years. The timely, comprehensive, and high-quality diagnosis of diseases is critical to serving the state’s $32.5 billion animal agriculture industry.

The laboratory is essential in providing the diagnostic testing and information enabling continuation of current exports and development of new export markets for Iowa livestock and animal protein products. As the state’s official veterinary diagnostic lab, the only fully accredited and full service veterinary diagnostic lab in Iowa, and one of only 14 Level 1 labs in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, the VDL continues to be at the forefront in the nation’s response to emerging diseases such as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Canine Influenza, and Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea. VDL faculty and staff were the first to diagnose cases of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea in 2013, leading national efforts to develop and deploy diagnostic testing, and developing and testing new vaccines to control the condition. Additionally, the VDL was at the forefront during the recent Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak that affected nearly 32 million birds and resulted in a $1.2 billion hit to the state in 2015. The outbreak demanded that the laboratory run in multiple shifts seven days a week to assure timely testing.

Funding is needed to purchase equipment and technologies to advance diagnostic testing capabilities for Iowa livestock producers, increase staffing to conduct testing in the laboratory, upgrade information technology capabilities for reporting results to clients, and improve the response to disease introduction.

Learn more about the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.