Statutory animal disease testing

Area of Expertise:

VSD undertakes statutory testing on behalf of DEARA for a range of animal diseases. This is for demonstrating freedom from specific animal diseases, preventing incursion of animal diseases, surveillance/eradication of animal diseases and/or ensure trade guarantees for Northern Ireland agriculture.

What animal diseases do we test for?

VSD undertakes statutory testing for the following:

Ovine/Caprine disease surveillance for: Maedi visna/CAE, contagious agalactia, Brucella melitensis, Brucella ovis, Mycoplasma capricolum and Mycoplasma mycoides.

Importation testing for: Bluetongue, classical swine fever, Maedi visna/CAE, transmissible gastroenteritis, equine infectious anaemia.


The test methods used for these testing programmes are accredited to ISO17025.  This accreditation ensures that the testing is carried out to the highest standard.

The laboratory also participates in inter-laboratory external proficiency testing schemes to ensure that the test methods are performing reliably.

Interlinkage with emergency response

Many of the test methods utilised for the statutory testing programmes are also utilised as part of the emergency response to epizootic disease suspects.  In addition, staff, facilities and equipment from the statutory programmes can be mobilised at relatively short notice to deal with an epizootic disease outbreak and /or cleanup.

Examples of statutory programme test methods transferable for emergency response include:  avian influenza, Newcastle disease, bluetongue, classical swine fever

Examples of staff, facilities and equipment available for emergency response include :  TSE category 3 laboratory and associated staff, high throughput laboratory, robotic equipment and associated staff from brucella serology programme, virology molecular diagnostic laboratory, staff and associated instrumentation

See also: Chemical Immunodiagnostic Sciences Branch (CISB) Statutory work


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