Government pathology services
Government laboratories in states and territories have progressively moved to a centralised model over ten or more years. This has often been prompted by cost-cutting motives, and veterinarians in rural and regional areas have been concerned that the end of local laboratories will mean slower and less reliable test results.
State governments have also seen an increasing role for the Australian Animal Health Laboratory run by the CSIRO in Geelong Victoria in providing services previously provided by state-run veterinary laboratories.
These developments raise concerns among veterinarians about whether the available diagnostic capacity will seriously hamper our response to a major disease outbreak.
With the contraction of veterinary pathology services, there is an imminent shortage of trained veterinary pathologists. The AVA has been working with a group of universities on a strategy to stem this potentially very serious shortage through the Australian Animal Disease Diagnostic Training Initiative. Funding for the initiative is being sought.
Media release on laboratory closures (NSW) – 27 February 2009
Briefing on closure of veterinary laboratories (NSW) - March 2009
Closure of veterinary laboratories (NSW) – 27 April 2009