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Stackyard News July 2012

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New NML Laboratory Facility Brings More Testing Options

National Milk Laboratories (NML) has opened a new state-of–the-art milk testing and disease monitoring laboratory at Four Ashes, Wolverhampton. The purpose built facility now carries out all the compositional and hygiene testing on bulk milk samples previously carried out by NML’s West Midlands site, along with an extended range of disease and microbiology testing services.

NMLís new laboratory facility will operate 19/7 for efficient testing of milk and blood samples and a fast turnaround of results

NML milk testing and disease monitoring laboratory

“In addition, the new laboratory has provided us with increased capacity for individual milk sample testing and for disease-surveillance testing on milk and blood samples,” says NML director Ben Bartlett.

Part of the NMR Group, NML has two testing facilities and carries out composition and quality tests on bulk tank samples from 96% of British herds for payment purposes on behalf of milk buyers and processors. Its facility at Hillington near Glasgow, refurbished just five years ago, tests milk samples from herds in the north of England and Scotland. Both laboratories have modern equipment and technology along with a team of biochemists to carry out disease surveillance tests on behalf of producers, vets and milk buyers.

“The Four Ashes laboratory is operating seven days a week, 19 hours a day and this will provide improved testing efficiency and quicker turnaround of results,” adds Mr Bartlett. “Working closely with producers and vets, we are able to carry out increasing volumes of surveillance and one-off tests for BVD, Leptospirosis, IBR, IBRgE, Neospora, Johne’s disease and liver fluke. 

“In addition, the new laboratory has a substantial PCR facility.  This currently tests milk samples to identify mastitis-causing pathogens, but we will shortly be extending the range of PCR testing services into other areas of cow health.”

NML has followed all relevant United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) protocols to ensure that it adheres to the requirements required for its accreditation status. “This rightly gives our customers confidence in the quality of systems and processes in the lab,” adds Mr Bartlett. “Through routine quality controls and audits, along with involvement in relevant international ring trials, we will focus on maintaining these key accreditations.”

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