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Wolf Administration Announces State Veterinary Lab System Earns 5-Year National Accreditation

By: Shannon Powers | | 717-783-2628 Date: Nov 1, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration announced today that Pennsylvania’s Animal Diagnostic Laboratory System (PADLS) has been recognized with a national quality credential. This puts Pennsylvania among the leading states to have earned this distinction, demonstrating the system’s ongoing commitment to animal health and food safety. 

“PADLS draws on the resources of three Pennsylvania laboratories. In addition to the Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg, the system includes Penn State’s Animal Diagnostic Laboratory in State College, and the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square,” said state Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “The system leverages the expertise of nationally-respected scientists and well-qualified technicians across three facilities, all accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.” 

“After evaluating PADLS’s laboratory capacity, staff credentials, and state-of-the-art facilities, the accreditation committee of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians has recommended a full five-year accreditation for the system,” Redding added. “This distinction affirms the professionalism and diagnostic abilities of the three labs that work together to protect the safety of our food supply by focusing on animal health.” 

PADLS is charged with providing an early warning and quick response when diseases threaten Pennsylvania’s animals, identifying infectious and contagious diseases rapidly and accurately, identifying chemicals and contaminants that threaten animal and human health, assisting in the diagnosis of animal health issues, conducting research to support federal and state regulatory programs, and certifying animals for export. 

“It is imperative that our farmers get prompt and accurate results from necropsies, blood samples, fecal samples and more,” Redding said. “PADLS offers a full range of services to equip Pennsylvania’s livestock farmers with the timely information they need to make informed decisions. That is why the investments we have made in PADLS have been so critically important.” 

“The three labs complement each other to meet the needs of our state’s diverse agriculture industry, but the strength isn’t just in the facilities and equipment,” said Dr. David Wolfgang, Pennsylvania’s state veterinarian. “The strength comes from the talented personnel who operate each laboratory and work together to combat the threats to our animals and our food supply 

“Pennsylvania’s Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission oversees PADLS and the activities of the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services,” Wolfgang added.

“The veterinarians, farmers, legislative representatives and department staff on the commission meet regularly to address the health needs of Pennsylvania’s animal agriculture industry.” 

Representatives from PADLS’ member laboratories share information about controlling diseases such as rabies, avian influenza, brucellosis and chronic wasting disease. PADLS laboratories participate in animal disease control and eradication programs, as well as regulatory testing for local, interstate and international movement of animals and animal material. The lab is certified as a Biosafety Level 2 facility with higher-level capabilities. 

The University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center provides toxicology services, particularly for Pennsylvania’s equine industry, as well as microbiology, avian medicine and pathology, and large animal pathology. Part of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center is the school’s teaching hospital with veterinary care facilities for large animals. 

The PADLS laboratories are fully accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians and are participating members of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

To learn more about PADLS and the state agriculture department’s work to support animal health and a food safety, visit

To learn about University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center's PADLS laboratory, please click here.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling more than 34,600 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles more than 6,200 patient visits a year, while our Field Services have gone out on more than 5,500 farm service calls, treating some 18,700 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.