The NAHLN supports U.S. animal agriculture by developing and increasing the capabilities and capacities of a national veterinary diagnostic laboratory network to support early detection, rapid response, and appropriate recovery from high-consequence animal diseases. It is a nationally coordinated network and partnership of Federal, State, and university-associated animal health laboratories. NAHLN veterinary diagnostic laboratories provide animal health diagnostic testing to detect biological threats to the nation’s food animals, thus protecting animal health, public health, and the nation's food supply. They provide the capability to diagnose both endemic and high-consequence livestock pathogens in animals, food, and environmental samples and are likely to be the first-line laboratories for recognition of an intentionally or accidentally introduced agent in animals..

Beginning in 2016, all laboratories in the NAHLN were transitioned to a new structure, with the designations of Levels 1, 2, 3, Affiliate, or Specialty laboratories. The NVSL laboratories in Ames, IA and Plum Island, NY continue to serve as the nation’s reference laboratories for both the NAHLN and USDA. Originally composed of twelve laboratories, the NAHLN has grown to include over 60 State and university laboratories. These laboratories are distributed throughout the United States, and are capable of testing large numbers of samples for specific disease agents originating from food animal species. Click this link to see a current map of all NAHLN laboratories.

NAHLN Organization

  • For a description of how the NAHLN Program is organized and administered, follow this link.
  • An organizational chart for the NAHLN Program Office is found here.

NAHLN Guiding Documents

Additional Information about NAHLN

NAHLN History

Click here for more of NAHLN's history and additional background documents






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