The Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory
The Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg People.
About the Canadian Food Inspection Agency
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is a science-based regulator with a mandate to safeguard the food supply, protect the health of plants and animals, and support market access. The Agency relies on high-quality, timely and relevant science as the basis of its program design and regulatory decision-making. Scientific activities inform the Agency's understanding of risks, provide evidence for developing mitigation measures, and confirm the effectiveness of these measures.
CFIA scientific activities include laboratory testing, research, surveillance, test method development, risk assessments and expert scientific advice. Agency scientists maintain strong partnerships with universities, industry, and federal, provincial and international counterparts to effectively carry out the CFIA's mandate.
The Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory, located at the Fallowfield campus, is one of five CFIA laboratories across Canada that provide animal health diagnostic and research services and expertise. The campus includes a media laboratory, farm and small animal colony, bioinformatics services, as well as biocontainment facilities.
What we do
The scientific and technical staff at the Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory performs a variety of diagnostic tests and procedures for specific diseases in livestock, poultry and wildlife in support of the CFIA's mandate.
- Expert scientific advice to other CFIA laboratories and program officers and to officials of other federal and provincial departments and agencies
- Developing, improving and validating diagnostic methods
- Oversight of approved private laboratories which provide testing capacity on behalf of the CFIA
- Technical development, production and standardization of biological test reagents and monoclonal antibodies
- Production and maintenance of specific pathogen-free animals, poultry and embryonated eggs
Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory is comprised of the following units:
- Serodiagnosis of diseases (for example, brucellosis, glanders, mycoplasma diseases, paratuberculosis, tuberculosis, equine paratyphoid)
- Biologics production (for example, tuberculin, bacterial antigens, monoclonal antibodies)
- Microbiology biocontainment level (BCL) 2 (for example, identification of contagious equine metritis, bovine genital campylobacteriosis, pullorum disease, fowl typhoid)
- Microbiology BCL-3 (for example, tuberculosis, brucellosis, glanders)
- Pathology (for example, tuberculosis and other diseases, meat hygiene, animal welfare/humane transport)
- Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (for example, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, chronic wasting disease, scrapie)
- The research team is comprised of scientists, veterinarians, biologists and technicians. Their areas of expertise include test development and improvement, genotyping of animals to assess their resistance to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, as well as molecular, genomic and bioinformatics approaches for bacterial and viral identification and characterization in support of epidemiological studies and diagnostic test development/improvement
- Scientists also study antimicrobial resistance, spread of diseases, methods for decontamination/disinfection of premises and disposal of contaminated material
- Formal and informal collaborators include foreign country regulatory bodies, Canadian and foreign country universities, federal and provincial partners
The research and diagnostic teams are supported by a small animal colony (including a genetically modified mice colony), large animal facilities (including specific pathogen free pig herd and poultry flock), and by bioinformatics services.
- ISO 17025 accreditation
- Canadian Council of Animal Care Certification
The Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory is designated as a Reference Laboratory by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH; founded as Office International des Épizooties (OIE)), with the following areas of expertise:
- chronic wasting disease
WOAH Reference Laboratories are designated to pursue scientific and technical problems that relate to a specific disease or topic. Their role is to function as centres of expertise and standardisation of diagnostic techniques for these designated diseases.
The Reference Laboratory is involved in cutting-edge research and training of highly skilled personnel from countries all over the world.
It is also a Canadian reference laboratory with expertise in several diseases, including:
- chronic wasting disease (CWD)
- contagious equine metritis
- bovine genital campylobacteriosis
- pullorum disease
- fowl typhoid
WHO Collaborating Centre
The Ottawa (Fallowfield) Laboratory is also designated as a collaborating centre by the World Health Organization (WHO) with expertise in the control and epidemiology of rabies in carnivores.
WHO Collaborating Centres develop and share tools and information and participate in collaborative research within their area of expertise to support WHO programs nationally, regionally, and internationally.
All CFIA laboratories are accredited in accordance with the International Standard ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) provides accreditation for routine testing, test method development and non-routine testing, as identified on the laboratory's Scope of Accreditation on the SCC website. Accreditation formally verifies the CFIA's competence to produce accurate and reliable results. The results are supported by the development, validation and implementation of scientific methods, conducted by highly qualified personnel, using reliable products, services, and equipment, in a quality controlled environment. Participation in international proficiency testing programs further demonstrates that our testing is comparable to laboratories across Canada and around the world.
The Ottawa Animal Health Laboratory
3851 Fallowfield Road
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