The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ veterinary diagnostic laboratory system has received full accreditation by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD), following a comprehensive on-site review earlier this summer.

Accreditation means the laboratories meet or exceed national standards of compliance, including testing, quality assurance, safety and record keeping.

The veterinary diagnostic laboratory system is composed of five laboratories located in Arden, Elkin, Monroe, Raleigh and Rose Hill. The labs are accredited to work on all species of animals and serve to protect the state’s livestock, poultry and companion animal health, as well as that of the general public.

"This accreditation is a testament to an intensive and concerted effort on behalf of our laboratory employees," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "It is also important to recognize the General Assembly for its support in the past four years to increase funding to update equipment and buildings throughout the laboratory system.

"North Carolina’s livestock and poultry industries represent a $5 billion industry. Having a diagnostic laboratory system that is accredited gives us an additional weapon in protecting against foreign animal diseases. We know our test results are highly accurate based on national standards for testing," Troxler said.

Laboratory Director Dr. Karen Post said accreditation gives the laboratory system a formal recognition that will have a host of positive affects. Accreditation allows the state to meet foreign trade testing requirements, possibly opening up additional federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Service Laboratory, and allows the lab system to be used by those small-animal practitioners who are required to use an accredited laboratory.