Why is the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) State-Federal laboratory closing?
TAHC was recently reviewed by the Sunset Advisory Commission. This review determined the TAHC State-Federal laboratory was no longer the most cost-effective option for regulatory testing and that all testing should be transferred to TVMDL.
Will TAHC continue to enforce animal health regulations?
Yes. TAHC will continue to serve as the state regulatory agency for animal health. TVMDL will only assume testing responsibilities.
When will the TAHC laboratory close?
The TAHC laboratory will officially close on August 31. All testing services at TAHC will be discontinued on August 20. TVMDL will assume all testing on August 21. To ensure samples arrive at the correct laboratory and do not incur a delay, TAHC clients should begin shipping samples to TVMDL beginning August 18.
What tests will be offered at TVMDL?
TVMDL will screen all bovine and porcine samples for brucellosis using the BAPA test unless specific export, sale, or entry requirements are indicated. In these cases, the submitting veterinarian should specify which tests are required.
Is TVMDL prepared to perform these additional tests?
Yes. TVMDL currently performs four of the regulatory tests and will add* five new offerings to the test catalog on August 20. TVMDL has completed all the necessary proficiency testing and acquired additional equipment to ensure all samples are tested quickly, efficiently, and accurately. New staff have been added to absorb the increased caseload.
TAHC did not charge me for these tests. Will I be charged for testing at TVMDL?
At this time, TAHC will cover the cost of the tests listed above for all clients. However, clients will be responsible for the $7.00 TVMDL accession fee, shipping costs, as well as any other testing services or supplies.
How do I submit samples for testing?
Complete the TVMDL submission form and the required regulatory testing forms: VS Form 4-33, VS Form 4-54, or TAHC Form 91-26, as appropriate. Package samples, then ship the samples and paperwork to TVMDL.
TVMDL recommends shipping packages using an overnight shipping method; USPS is not recommended. TVMDL has partnered with the Southeast Vocational Alliance (SVA) to provide discounted shipping rates to clients. Learn more about this free service and how to sign up by viewing the Deliver a Sample page.
How do I get results?
Finalized results will be sent via electronic report to the submitting client. Brucellosis records will also be sent electronically and will include a validation QR code. This will allow for quick and easy verification that a client’s copy matches the original record contained in TVMDL’s repository. Paper copies will no longer be mailed.
Where do I get specimen containers and shipping supplies?
TAHC inspectors will continue to provide complimentary specimen tubes and boxes to slaughter facilities for brucellosis testing.
TVMDL cannot offer return service for tube boxes or shipping boxes to adhere to biosafety standards. Clients are encouraged to use their own packaging for shipments or purchase shipping boxes from TVMDL.
TVMDL offers shipping boxes and other supplies at cost effective rates. These items can be ordered online using the Supply Order Form.
Where do I get regulatory testing supplies?
Texas veterinarians who possess USDA Category II Accreditation and who have a current status in the TAHC Texas Authorized Personnel Program may request bovine tuberculin PPD vials from TAHC’s Staff Services by calling 512-719-0788. Accredited veterinarians may also fax their request to 512-719-0729 or email Staff Services at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a change from previous contact information at the TAHC State-Federal Lab.
NOTE: TAHC will no longer provide shipping materials, 40-count boxes, mailers, and tick collection kits to private practitioners. There are no changes to contact information for other regulatory resources for accredited/authorized veterinarians. Brucellosis tags and test charts can be requested from USDA-VS-FiOps-District 4 by calling 512-383-2424. Requests can also be faxed to 512-916-5525 or emailed to D4SUPPLYORDERS@usda.gov. Certificates of Veterinary Inspection can be ordered by visiting the TAHC website.
I am not a current TVMDL client. How do I sign up?
Clients who wish to use TVMDL’s testing services must have a TVMDL account. To set up an account, visit the Find a Form page of the TVMDL website, download, complete, and fax a New Client Form to 979.458.3260. TVMDL accounts are created for a practice/clinic, allowing all veterinarians at one practice to share an account. Clients with existing TVMDL accounts can begin ordering brucellosis and pseudorabies testing immediately. Contact the TVMDL Finance Section at 979.458.3207 for questions on setting up a new client account.
I still have questions. Who do I contact?
For questions regarding TAHC’s laboratory closure, please call 512.832.6580 through August 31 and 512.719.0700 after August 31. For questions about TVMDL and their testing services, call the agency’s headquarters in College Station at 1.888.646.5623.
View the full release discussing this transition.