Animal Health Lab


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