GLDA Veterinary Services Lab – GNBS certified to provide quality services to Guyana’s Livestock Industry

Tons of meat obtained from various livestock are consumed daily in Guyana. At a time when pathogens are transmissible to humans, a modern Laboratory designated to the surveillance and diagnoses in the livestock industry is critical to protect the health of the country’s population from various diseases. Even more important is certification from a third party that tests are conducted by a laboratory that is certified as meeting the requirements of the National Standard.

In 2014, the Ministry of Agriculture commissioned the country’s only Veterinary Services Laboratory under the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA). The agency is tasked with protecting the gains of animal production and genetics through the provision of timely veterinary interventions and minimizing the threat of disease from internal and external sources.

Head of the GLDA’s Veterinary Laboratory Dr. Dane Hartley and Quality Manager Ms. Cherie Rampertab

According to the Head of the Laboratory, Dr. Dane Hartley, the Laboratory provides a range of tests in the areas of Pathology, Histopathology, Serology, Parasitology and molecular including Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). These tests are conducted for research, surveillance and diagnostic purposes on samples submitted by Veterinarians and other animal health professionals, the GLDA’s genetic farm, the University of Guyana, exporters, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other institutions.

“The Serology Department conducts antibody tests and those cover a wide range of diseases including Influenza, Newcastle disease, several poultry diseases, classical swine fever, African swine fever and others,” Dr. Hartley disclosed.

Laboratory Supervisor Ms. Shevon Layne inspecting tissue samples in the Histopathology department of the Veterinary Services Laboratory

On April 13, 2021, the facility was certified to the National Standard – General Requirements for the Operation of a Laboratory (GYS 170:2009) by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS). Upon maintaining the requirements of the standard, the laboratory was recertified in April 2023 since the certificate is valid for two years. The scope of certification covers Pathology, Serology and Parasitology.

Quality Manager Cherie Rampertab noted that certification has boosted the laboratory’s capacity to offer services to exporters. In this regard, the laboratory is working to offer its molecular biology services to exporters of wildlife.

Laboratory Technologist & Safety Officer Mr. Erwin Miller conducting tests in the Serology department of the Veterinary Services Laboratory

“We definitely provide results that of are quality to our clients and it also puts us in a situation where we are mandated to ensure everything operates according to the Standard. From every form of management which encompasses the entire quality management system, we do have requirements which we have to meet so we’re always at that level where everything is at the minimum standard requirements,” she explained.

Rampertab added that “it (GLDA Laboratory) is the only Veterinary laboratory in the country, so it is very important for us to provide quality services and results to our clients. Further, it is important for us to ensure that there is quality assurance with not only the procedures but the management, documentation and analyses.”

Laboratory Supervisor Mr. Lorenzo Richards in the Molecular Biology department of the Veterinary Services Laboratory

The National Standard was updated in 2021 to align with international standards, namely the ISO/IEC 17025 standard which addresses General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories and the ISO 15189 which specifies requirements for quality and competence in medical laboratories. Currently, professionals at the GLDA laboratory are working to meet the requirements of the new standard and is looking to increase the lab’s scope of testing to include Molecular Biology.

Following its upgrade to the new standard, the laboratory will commence pursuing accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

“Certification serves as a steppingstone to accreditation so the results that we issue for international export of wildlife, could stand scrutiny wherever in the world those animals are being shipped to,” the Quality Manager noted.

Laboratory Assistant Ms. Annastacia Roach in the Parasitology department of the Veterinary Services Laboratory

She lauded the work of the GNBS Certification team whom she said has helped to make the certification process simpler. “Having an audit is always a daunting process but the Certification Officers always ensure that everyone is at ease and comfortable. If any errors are identified, the GNBS team explained to ensure that everyone understand and the process has been pretty smooth,” Rampertab said.

The GNBS encourages other testing and clinical laboratories to pursue certification to the National Standard. Certification helps these facilities to operate in agreement with established procedures that are based on the requirements of the national standard.  It also provides them with a benchmark for maintaining the laboratory management system and for improving the services offered to clients, thereby increasing clientele.

Dr. Johaine McAllister performing a disection in the Pathology department of the Veterinary Services Laboratory

The Bureau offers Technical Assistance to help the management of the laboratories understand the requirements of the National Standard. Currently, the GNBS’ Business Development Team is providing Technical Assistance to the other two laboratories managed by the GLDA; the Genetics Laboratory and the Animal Nutrition Laboratory, towards getting certified.

For more information on the GNBS Laboratory Certification Programme, visit our website at or call 219-0064-66 or the GNBS Hotline 219-0069 or WhatsApp 692-4627.