The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians recently awarded a renewal of full accreditation to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory. The renewal is a five-year accreditation of the facility and its operators. The VMDL’s previous accreditation cycle ends Dec. 31, 2022. The renewal runs from January 2023 to December 2027.
The current facility has space and biosecurity limitations. However, groundbreaking for a $30 million renovation and expansion of the VMDL will take place on Friday, Sept. 14. The AAVLD considered the 34,200-square-foot expansion plans when evaluating the capacity of the current facility. The larger, renovated facility will accommodate the requirements for full accreditation.
Mizzou’s VMDL performs more than 167,000 diagnostic tests annually and plays a major role in the early detection, testing and post-outbreak of foreign and emerging animal diseases, including avian influenza, African swine fever, foot-and-mouth disease, rabies and chronic wasting disease.
Shuping Zhang, PhD, MU Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory director and CVM professor, said the full AAVLD accreditation means that the facility meets the highest standards for veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States. “It certainly ensures our capacity, capability and excellence in diagnostic services,” says Zhang. “That means our clients and our patients will receive the best possible service, and our students and residents will receive the highest possible standard of education. It also means that our reports and diagnoses are recognized nationally and internationally, as well as making us eligible for external funding from the USDA.”
The AAVLD accredits public veterinary diagnostic laboratories in North America relative to technical and operational competence compatible with appropriate standards. The agency also provides an administrative assessment. An accredited laboratory is one that can provide a full range of diagnostic services year-round in essential disciplines: necropsy, histopathology, clinical pathology, bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, serology and toxicology.
AAVLD accreditation ensures a high-quality laboratory diagnostic program for veterinary education and research. It also assures VMDL clients that results are accurate, faculty and staff are competent, facility and equipment are adequate and properly maintained, all procedures are documented, and results are recognized by other accredited laboratories. Results from an accredited laboratory are accepted by other countries for live animal or animal products export, which is critical to the success of Missouri’s animal agricultural industry and economy.
By Nick Childress