Discover Florida: On The Cutting Edge Of Research, Education, Enforcement In Veterinary Science

by | 02.04.2020 | 10:56am

The following sponsored article is from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Nicole “Nikki” Fried, Commissioner.

The Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (BADDL) is a state-of-the-art $11 million state facility managed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry, headed by Commissioner Nicole 'Nikki' Fried. 

The new 22,000 square foot facility, home to a full-service veterinary lab with the latest technology is located in Kissimmee, just 75 miles south of Ocala. The lab provides accurate and prompt diagnostic services to veterinary practitioners, breeders, animal owners, wildlife conservationists and animal researchers, as well as state and federal regulatory officials. It is Florida's only animal disease laboratory accredited  by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.

Named for Charles Bronson, Jr., who served as Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services from May 2001 through January 2011, the laboratory has developed scientific expertise in detecting and investigating animal diseases that affect horses, other livestock, companion animals and public health.

Dedicated to helping control Florida's potential losses from animal diseases and parasites, BADDL helps to reduce the threat of sickness and poisoning common to both man and animal, protecting the public through expert and timely diagnostics response time.

“From African swine fever to Zika virus, our experts have dedicated their careers to being at the forefront of public safety.” said Fried. “Our geographical location, climate and numerous ports of entry all contribute to the possibility of an animal disease introduction. The new Bronson Laboratory will play a pivotal role in detecting and monitoring these serious health threats.” 

Division of Animal Industry

The Division of Animal Industry is an integral part of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Responsible for enforcing animal regulations, Animal Industry protects statewide animals from pests, infestations and diseases. Working with district veterinarians, animal inspectors, owners, breeders and private veterinarians across the state, the Division's professional veterinary and livestock experts monitor and enhance the health and welfare of Florida's animals and the humans who care for them.

“Under Florida's Comprehensive Management Plan, Animal Industry serves as the lead agency for animal and agricultural issues,” Fried said. “This includes planning and coordinating the state's response to emergencies ranging from animal disease outbreaks to hurricane emergency management.”

The Division also regulates the entry of horses, livestock, poultry breeds and some exotic animals into Florida. A summary of the rules and regulations, referred to as interstate movement — animals moving from one state to another — can be found on the Division's website listed below. A summary of intrastate movement, animal movement within Florida, can also be found on the same site.

In addition, all horses moving within Florida must have an official report of a negative equine infectious anemia test (EIA or Coggins test) dated within 12 months of when the blood sample was taken. Stallions and mares for breeding purposes must also have a negative EIA test and report.

Importance of Early Detection and Early Response

Owners, breeders and trainers play an important role in early detection because of their daily contact with the animals. Here are a few examples of suspicious signs of domestic and foreign animal disease:

  • Sudden, unexpected death in a herd, barn or flock.
  • Severe signs of illness affecting a high percentage of animals in a specific location.
  • Blistering or ulcers around an animal's mouth, nose or hooves.
  • Unusual appearance of ticks or maggots.
  • Staggering, falling, or central nervous system disorders

Early detection is critical for effective disease response control and eradication. Know the signs and report any unusual behavior or symptoms immediately to your local veterinarian or the State Veterinarian's Office, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Animal Industry.

For further information, the Florida State Veterinarian's Office and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services can be reached at: 

[email protected] or 

Telephone: (850) 410-0900

24-Hour Reporting: 1-800-342-5869

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