The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) at Iowa State is Iowa's only fully accredited and full service veterinary diagnostic laboratory. The VDL caseload has doubled in fewer than 10 years, an indication of its crucial role in Iowa's $32.5 billion animal agriculture economy.
Each year more than 80,000 cases from livestock and poultry producers in Iowa and across the country are processed and more than 1.25 million tests are conducted here -- many with same-day results. State funding for VDL operations is critical to sustain a level of preparedness necessary to handle the increasing caseload, as well as disease outbreak response.
Iowa State's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory was at the forefront during the 2015 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreak that affected nearly 32 million birds and resulted in a $1.2 billion hit to the state. The laboratory run in multiple shifts seven days a week to assure timely testing in response to the outbreak.
Additionally, the 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.
Increased state funding for Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory operations will put people, equipment, and technologies in place to keep testing affordable for Iowa's livestock producers. Affordability encourages routine testing, which is an essential management practice for maintaining healthy animals. If routine testing is reduced it will significantly hamper early detection of disease outbreaks and increase the impact these catastrophic diseases can have on animal public health, and the state economy.
ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
is vital for the future of Iowa's animal agriculture economy. Remind your legislators that an additional $410,000 annual state appropriation is essential for sustaining the excellence of this laboratory now and into the future.