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Centralise surveillance diagnostics in Scotland, says Moredun CEO

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IRRESPECTIVE of any forthcoming decisions on the future of the regional veterinary surveillance laboratories in Scotland, there is a clear, urgent need for a centralised diagnostic facility to which most surveillance samples could be sent and where disease diagnoses could be reached.

That was the argument put forward by Julie Fitzpatrick, chief executive of the Moredun Group and scientific director of the Moredun Research Institute (MRI), speaking at the institute's annual media day last month. Noting that the Kinnaird Review had made recommendations for the future provision of veterinary surveillance for Scotland (VR, November 19, 2011, vol 169, pp 539-540) Professor Fitzpatrick pointed out that a central diagnostic facility already existed at the MRI where MRI staff and AHVLA (Lasswade) staff conducted surveillance work. ‘We suggest that Scotland's Rural College staff should also use this existing facility for centralised diagnostics once relevant activities have been identified,’ she said. This would allow staff to share resources to the benefit of taxpayers and the livestock-owning industry.

There were a number of other potential benefits, she suggested. The initiative would bring significant cost savings, as there would be no requirement to fund new specialised infrastructure which would replicate existing facilities. The number of administrative, support and laboratory …

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