October 28, 2009

In 2008, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture broke ground on a $28.5 million expansion and renovation of UK's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center. A year later, the construction is progressing briskly and was recently celebrated with a "topping off" ceremony to signify that all structural steel for the expansion is in place.

LDDC Director Craig Carter said two 10,000-pound alkaline digesters should be installed before the end of the year.

"We're looking forward to the facility being ‘dried-in' soon," he said. "Hopefully by mid- to late- summer our new necropsy facility and a new administration wing will be finished as well."

Carter said the expansion is what enabled the center's recent full, national accreditation.

"It will also help us move forward in joining the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, which is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Agriculture," he added. "On a practical level, the new space will open up a lot of lab space in the main building and bring with it updates in air quality and biosafety, which are invaluable improvements. We'll have more room to conduct testing, an increased capacity for necropsies, and it will enable us to better handle any large disease outbreak."

The Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center is a full-service animal health diagnostic facility. Its faculty and staff handle one of the largest caseloads in the nation, seeing 60,000 clinical cases and averaging over 3,000 necropsies (animal autopsies) each year. The laboratory also protects public health by diagnosing many diseases that can potentially cross over into the public sector.

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