Animal Health Lab

Notice – Euthanasia

Animal Health Laboratory does not allow on-site euthanasia. If you need assistance when arriving with an animal carcass, contact us in advance.

Notice – Veterinarian-client patient relationships

In support of private veterinary-client patient relationships and government operations, the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture Animal Health Laboratory will no longer be accepting companion animal submissions for necropsy directly from companion animal owners.

The Animal Health Lab does not maintain veterinarian-client patient relationships with companion animal owners, and therefore, will not provide reports directly to them. As of January 31, 2024, all companion animal submissions for necropsy must be submitted by a veterinarian.

Notice – Testing for S. aureus

Testing for S. aureus in dairy products continues to be referred out to an accredited laboratory. In-house testing is expected to resume in fall 2023.

Notice – Avian Influenza

The Nova Scotia Animal Health Laboratory has implemented enhanced biosecurity and biosafety procedures in response to the detection of highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in the province.

If you are experiencing sudden increased mortality in your flock, or you suspect you have clinical signs suggesting Avian Influenza, contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency Nova Scotia hotline at 902-365-8653 for advice.

Clinical signs of HPAI can include high mortality, decreased production, diarrhea, depression, swollen/congested wattles and combs, respiratory signs and swelling of skin under eyes.

Avoid handling sick or dead birds. If you see a sick or dead wild bird, contact the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables 1-800-565-2224.

Fact sheet


You can submit a bird for postmortem examination at the laboratory. All avian cases will be screened for the presence of Avian Influenza.

You need to complete an Avian Submission form, including all available information in the highlighted sections, for each specimen you submit. You can deliver the form with the carcasses or email or fax it to the laboratory.

If you’re bringing carcasses to the laboratory, don’t bring them into the reception area. Enter the main entrance to drop off or fill out your submission form, then bring the carcass to the loading dock area. 

If you don’t want to enter the building, call the laboratory to arrange a contactless drop-off.


Animal Health Laboratory
65 River Road
Bible Hill NS

Phone:  902-893-6540
Fax:  902-895-6684

The laboratory is open 8:30 am – 4:30 Monday to Friday for specimen reception. For weekend and holiday drop-offs, call 902-956-0028.


Nova Scotia’s Animal Health Laboratory provides diagnostic testing to support provincial animal health and welfare, food safety, and public health. Comprehensive diagnostic services are provided for a wide range of species including livestock, horses, companion animals, and exotic animals. Services are aimed primarily at Nova Scotia’s agricultural producers and industry, but also assist practicing veterinarians, private companies, other government agencies, researchers, and the public.


Services are available to all Nova Scotian livestock owners, veterinarians, zoos, wildlife parks, and animal welfare enforcement agencies. Livestock (dairy, poultry, beef, swine, sheep, goat, fox, mink) and speciality livestock (alpaca, emu, ostrich, fancy fowl) owners can submit cases directly to the laboratory, however submissions coordinated through the herd veterinarian are recommended when possible.

All cases involving non-livestock species (horses, companion animals, exotic animals) must be submitted through a practicing veterinarian.

Samples must be submitted along with a complete Animal Health Laboratory submission form.


Nova Scotia’s Animal Health Laboratory has a mandate to provide high quality, timely laboratory diagnostic services that support the growth and development of Nova Scotia’s livestock industry.

Accurate laboratory diagnosis of diseases helps veterinarians provide effective treatment and prevention programs. This results in better care and wellbeing of animals for a stronger livestock industry.

Our laboratory is accredited (ISO 17025-2017) and has highly trained staff including two veterinary pathologists, an animal health laboratory manager, technical laboratory operations supervisor, a team of medical laboratory technologists, laboratory and pathology assistants, and administrative personnel.

The work of the Animal Health Laboratory also enables the Government of Nova Scotia and livestock industries to have disease surveillance. New and emerging disease problems, and important diseases that may impact public health can be detected through laboratory submissions.

Tests performed at the laboratory include:

  • Necropsy (animal autopsy)
  • Histopathology (surgical biopsies, field necropsy evaluations, research cases)
  • Microbiology (mastitis cultures, tissue and fluid cultures, antimicrobial sensitivities, avian environmental samples, food environmental samples, antibiotic residue testing, etc.)
  • Parasitology
  • Forensic necropsies (involving insurance claims, legal cases, or animal welfare investigations)
  • Avian serology

Fees are charged for services provided by the Animal Health Laboratory, as well as for testing referred to other laboratories.

Fee Schedules

Collection Procedures

Avian Serology


Submission Forms