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Fresno health and food-safety lab to close

Article

Davis, Calif. -- The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, which is managed by the University of California-Davis, will close on July 19 as a result of state funding cuts.

Davis, Calif.

-- The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System, which is managed by the University of California-Davis, will close on July 19 as a result of state funding cuts.

The Fresno-based lab provides diagnostic services for diseases in livestock, poultry and horses. Closure of the 59-year-old Fresno laboratory will shift diagnostic testing to other facilities within the laboratory system, officials say.

The lab, which has been managed by UC-Davis since 1987, has a reference lab at UC-Davis and branch laboratories in Turlock, Fresno, Tulare and San Bernardino. The network of labs receives about 80 percent of its funding from a contract with the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The remainder of its revenue comes from fee-for-service testing provided to veterinarians and agricultural producers.

The closure of the Fresno laboratory will affect more than 20 employees, resulting in the reassignment of three faculty positions to the system's labs in Tulare and Davis. The remaining scientific and administrative jobs will be cut. In addition, the laboratory system has eliminated 14.75 positions through staff and faculty attrition at the Davis, San Bernardino and Turlock labs.

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