Creed announces shake-up for department laboratories

A plan for the redevelopment of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s Regional Laboratories has been launched today, Wednesday, September 4, by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed.

As part of Project Ireland 2040, Minister Creed, announced an estimated capital investment of €33.5 million in rebuilding the department’s laboratory network over the next 10 years.

Commenting on the launch, Minister Creed said: “The publication of this plan shows my department’s commitment to achieving scientific excellence and to further developing capability and expertise across all laboratory areas.

The second phase of laboratories development gives effect to our commitment to enhance the diagnostic services and to make that service more accessible to farmers throughout the country.

On completion of this plan in 2028, 98% of registered herd owners will be within a one-hour drive of one of four regional laboratories or one of five carcass transfer centres that will be established in the border counties and along the western seaboard.

This will be followed sequentially by the replacement of existing facilities in Kilkenny and Sligo, plus the establishment of enlarged laboratories in Co. Cork and in Athlone.

Two laboratories (the Blood Testing Laboratory and the Dairy Science Laboratory) in Co. Cork have been merged into one entity that, according to Minister Creed: “Is now delivering a broad range of laboratory analyses to support the animal health, plant health and food safety related work of the department.”

Minister Creed concluded: “This investment in the regional laboratories will assist the agri-food sector in ensuring sustainable food production and substantiating our animal and plant health status while achieving the growth targets outlined in Food Wise 2025.”