Animal Health Laboratory
The Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) is based within MPI’s Investigation and Diagnostic Centre at the National Centre for Biosecurity and Infectious Disease campus at Wallaceville (see the NCBID website for further information on this collaboration between MPI, ESR, AgResearch and AsureQuality).
The AHL is responsible for the identification of all suspected exotic, new and emerging diseases of production, companion and aquatic animals, wildlife and introduced fauna. This is achieved through maintaining capability for diagnostic testing for high impact diseases and research in developing diagnostic tests for new and emerging diseases, including zoonotic diseases that impact on human health.
The veterinarians, scientists and technical staff employed at the AHL have expertise in veterinary virology, bacteriology, immunology, pathology and molecular diagnostics. The laboratory is accredited to ISO 17025 and the NZFSA Laboratory Approved Scheme (see the IANZ website for our scope of accreditation).
AHL diagnostic testing services
The Ministry for Primary Industries Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) provides diagnostic testing services for exporters of live animals, semen, or germplasm and diagnostic tests for specific agents not available elsewhere. AHL provides these services on a cost-recovery basis.
The charges for AHL diagnostic testing services were recently reviewed to:
- Ensure charges fully recover the cost of testing
- Ensure charges remain fair and equitable
- Avoid under and over recovery of costs over time.
Charges were last reviewed in 2002.
As a result, charges for AHL diagnostic testing services will change from 1 August 2009.
Changes have also been made to the testing regimen to ensure customers are only charged for what they use. Supplementary testing (for example, sequencing of DNA following PCR and IPX staining following virus isolation) will now be charged separately. Virus isolation testing will now be charged on a ‘per passage’ basis, resulting in higher charges for more complex testing. Pooling of samples will now be charged on a per sample basis, in addition to the charge for each diagnostic test carried out on the pooled samples.
Some of the tests provided by MAF are highly specialised and require expensive materials to carry out. Others are more expensive to maintain because there is a very low demand for the test, even though it may be essential for those who need it. MPI does not seek to provide tests that are readily available from other laboratories. These tests tend to those with higher throughput or that can be provided at less expense.
Other laboratories in New Zealand also offer a range of diagnostic tests approved for export testing.
Schedule of charges (140 KB) effective from 1 February 2012.
Diagnosis of diseases:
- Aquatic Animals
- Production Animals/Equine Racing Industry
- Companion Animals
- Wildlife/Exotic Animals
Research and development:
Emergency Hotline: To report suspected exotic diseases in animals, call: 0800 80 99 66
Telephone: 04 894 5600
Facsimile: 04 894 4973
Investigation and Diagnostic Centre
PO Box 40742
66 Ward Street
Upper Hutt 5018
- Animal Health Laboratory Manager
Dr. Joseph O’Keefe
- Bacteriology and Aquatic Animal Diseases Team Manager
Dr. Wendy McDonald
- Immunology Team Manager
Dr. Clive Pigott
- Virology Team Manager
Dr. Susan Cork
Dr. Reinhold Kittelberger
- Aquatic Animal Diseases
Dr. Colin Johnston
- Avian Diseases
Dr. Wlodek Stanislawek
Page last updated: 14 May 2012