USDA to consolidate lab testing rules

Proposal would create single process for animal diagnostic laboratory approval as well as steps to maintain approval status.

May 29, 2019

1 Min Read
USDA to consolidate lab testing rules

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced May 29 that it is taking steps to make it easier for animal diagnostic laboratories to carry out vital livestock disease testing on behalf of the agency.

USDA is proposing to update its regulations that outline how the agency approves laboratories to conduct official testing for animal diseases, as well as how they can remain approved, APHIS said.

Currently, the details for approval processes are listed in disease-specific sections throughout the animal health regulations, and they vary by disease. The new proposal would create a single, user-friendly process for laboratory approval and consolidate the existing regulations into one location, APHIS said.

Approved laboratories play a vital role in animal health efforts by providing officials with proven, accurate results in a specific time frame. APHIS said it relies on these laboratories every day to provide clear information about the health status of the nation’s livestock and poultry.

According to APHIS, the proposed changes will make it easier for laboratories to understand what they need to do to become approved and remain approved to conduct a wide variety of official tests for USDA. Already approved laboratories would begin using the new process when it is time for their next renewal. USDA would implement the new process for newly requested approvals immediately.

This proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the May 30 Federal Register. Public comments will be accepted until July 29, 2019.

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