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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JULY 2, 2010

CONTACT: Dr. David Marshall, state veterinarian
NCDA&CS Veterinary Division
(919) 733-7601
Dr. Karen Post, director of laboratories
NCDA&CS Veterinary Division
(919) 733-3986

Budget cuts force closure of Rose Hill veterinary lab

RALEIGH — The state budget approved by the General Assembly this week eliminated funding for the Rose Hill Animal Disease Laboratory in Duplin County, and the lab will close Friday, July 16.

The lab conducts necropsies and blood tests. It will not accept diagnostic samples or carcasses for necropsy after Tuesday, July 13.

“We regret that the Rose Hill lab is closing, but continued budget reductions forced agencies and legislators to make some very difficult decisions,” said State Veterinarian David Marshall. “Trying to keep five labs properly maintained and equipped became too costly.”

Closing the lab, which is operated by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, will eliminate seven positions and save the state about $432,000 annually. The seven displaced employees will have priority in applying for other state jobs for which they are qualified.

The lab’s closure should not affect the state’s ability to conduct mandated regulatory disease testing, Marshall said. “The diagnostic tests that have been performed at Rose Hill will be handled by the department’s full-service Rollins Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Raleigh,” he said. “We are working with farmers to help them make this transition.”

The state’s veterinary diagnostic lab system was established in 1950 to assist animal owners and their veterinarians in diagnosing diseases of livestock and poultry, and in preventing outbreaks of catastrophic foreign animal diseases by early detection. In addition to Rollins, the department operates branch labs in Arden, Elkin and Monroe.

Information about the lab system is available online at www.ncagr.gov/vet/ncvdl.

-bal-5

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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