Dáil Éireann - Volume 561 - 13 February, 2003
Written Answers. - Veterinary Laboratories.
Mr. Connaughton Mr. Connaughton
107. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food when he proposes to reopen the regional veterinary laboratory in Athlone; if his attention has been drawn to the widespread dissatisfaction between the farming community and veterinary surgeons at the lack of suitable laboratory services in the Athlone area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4260/03]
Mr. Walsh Mr. Walsh
Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mr. Walsh): In November 2002 the Office of Public Works applied for planning permission to Westmeath County Council to carry out new works and modifications to existing premises at the regional veterinary laboratory in Athlone. That office awaits final permission to proceed with the planned works which they hope to complete this year.
Athlone is one of a number of regional veterinary laboratories – the others are in Sligo, Kilkenny, Limerick, Cork and in the Central Research Laboratory in Abbotstown that provide a service to farmers throughout the country.
The services provided by the laboratories include: examination of specimens, e.g. blood samples, faeces, etc. received by post using the appropriate discipline of biochemistry, microbiology, parasitiology; and post mortem examination of carcases of farm animals for cause of death, and badgers for evidence of T.B.
The laboratory in Athlone continues to provide all services except the post mortem services.
Dáil Éireann 561 Written Answers. Veterinary Laboratories.