Arkansas animal disease response

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s Tollett Veterinary Diagnostic Lab is better positioned to help the state’s poultry industry now that it’s been added to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, or NAHLN, as a branch to the Arkansas Department of Agriculture’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

The Tollett lab—now the 60th in the national network—has been operated by the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station for 14 years, offering diagnostics for poultry and mammals.

The certification comes as the poultry industry in Arkansas is dealing with highly pathogenic avian influenza, known as HPAI. In 2020, the poultry industry was the state’s top commodity in terms of cash receipts at more than $2.6 billion.

Laboratory Director Dr. Randy Moore, DVM, said “being an approved NAHLN member will allow our lab to assist with incidences of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the future. It also allows for our lab to participate in official surveillance and disease suspect testing.”

Moore’s lab is one of several USDA National Poultry Improvement Plan Labs that are authorized to perform avian influenza serology surveillance testing.