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Take Action Now – Ensure critical funding for WADDL

  |   Legislative

$38 million in funding is needed for Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) at Washington State University to build modern facilities capable of conducting state- of-the-art experiments.

This critical construction will allow the Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL), which serves Washington State veterinarians with nearly 300,000 laboratory examinations annually, to improve its capacity and capability to serve animal owner’s and health care professionals throughout the state. This laboratory work provides critical support and consultation to guide veterinarians’ daily animal and public health decisions.

The current facility has reached the end of its lifespan and the lab’s accrediting body has repeatedly warned that securing modern facilities is essential to assure biosecurity and operational efficiency. Since moving into Bustad Hall 38 years ago, the laboratory’s annual caseload has increased threefold to more than 21,000 cases a year and has expanded to include all animal health sectors (agriculture, companion, aquatic, wildlife and environment).

In addition to serving as the State’s only comprehensive diagnostic laboratory, as the official animal health testing laboratory for the Washington State Department of Agriculture, WADDL testing is integral to large and small animal practitioners serving clients throughout the state by allowing animals to move freely between states and across international borders through regulatory testing. This “proof of negative” testing is fundamental to the economic well-being of all animal health sectors in Washington state.

The loss of WADDL as a vital “local” laboratory asset due to loss of national and international laboratory accreditation would be highly detrimental to veterinary practitioners who fill a vital societal need for animal and public health experts and animal owners. We cannot as an industry, and a State, let this happen.

Take Action Today! Urge legislators in Olympia to approve funding in the 2017-19 Capital Budget!

Talking Points to use with your legislators:

  • WADDL serves a critical public health role, supporting the state and federal departments of health and the FDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Investigation Response Network, as being on the front line of defense against foreign animal diseases, zoonotic diseases and food-borne illness. These include Avian Influenza, BSE, Foot and Mouth Disease, Salmonella, West Nile Virus and many more.
  • Caseloads have tripled since the lab moved into its existing facility 38 years ago and samples must travel through public spaces to be processed.
  • Accreditors have repeatedly warned a new facility is needed and accreditation has been maintained by securing funding for pre-design and design funding. Construction funding for the first two-thirds of this facility will demonstrate further progress.
  • Add your personal experiences of how important WADDL is to Washington veterinarians and animal health and how you rely on these very important services.

Step 1: Contact the legislators responsible for capital budget planning:

Step 2: Contact your Senator and two representatives from your district and ask them to support this important funding.

Find your district with links to contact your legislators here:  http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/

Don’t delay – Please Take Action Now!