After seven years of planning and securing $70 million in investments, the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory opened on campus Friday. The Facility will allow researchers to test animals for diseases in hopes of promoting food safety and human health.
“The benefit that this building and this place bring to the citizens of this state, they don’t understand,” said Patrick Hooker, commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. “But I’ve already said, its hundreds of millions, its billions of dollars in benefit.”
The lab, a collaborative effort between the State of New York and Cornell, will test samples for infectious diseases such as avian influenza virus, mad cow disease and tuberculosis. The results could be vital to attempts to identify their origin and minimize the spread of diseases that could potentially wipe out livestock populations and may be pathogenic to humans.
“Think of how easy it is to blow out a match, how easy it is to put out a campfire and how easy it is to put out a forest fire,” Hooker said. “With the collaboration that we have, we can keep these terrible diseases to a minimum, to a campfire at best.”
Previously, the testing program was scattered across multiple buildings around campus, occupying limited lab space. According to Dr. Michael Kotlicoff, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, the new building
Original Author: Juan Forrer