NMR's Wolverhampton milk testing laboratory, National Milk Laboratories (NML), has secured the Defra statutory testing contract for brucellosis and EBL (Enzootic Bovine Leucosis).
NMR acquired the milk testing laboratory in the Midlands in spring 2004 and, with its Paisley based testing laboratory that it bought from First Milk, the company established National Milk Laboratories. NML now tests more than half of milk samples in Britain on behalf of milk buying companies and organisations.
"The Wolverhampton lab has been carrying out brucellosis and EBL testing for the past eight years," says NMR'S Ben Bartlett who has specific responsibilities for business development at NML. "Following the establishment of NML we were able to offer DEFRA some enhancements to the current service and secure the contract for a three year period.
Included in the improvements to the statutory service is a new system of selecting farms for EBL testing. "Statutory requirements dictate that every herd should be tested for EBL once every five years, and for brucellosis every month. Identification of active herds that were due to be tested for EBL was, in the past, difficult and time consuming.
"After discussion with NML, DEFRA have agreed to the adoption of a simpler and more effective method of identifying herds for EBL testing. We will also be incorporating new reporting techniques that will assist DEFRA in confirming the proportion of active herds tested month on month.
"Both these changes will increase the effectiveness of the surveillance programmes and ensure that any incidence of the diseases are spotted quickly and acted upon before the infection spreads and causes a serious threat to the health of the national herd."