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Laboratory services

The Laboratory Services of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) is an essential component of the role of DAFF in leading the sustainable development of a competitive farming and consumer focused agri-food business, which contributes to a vibrant rural economy and society. The Backweston Laboratory Complex has been developed to provide a laboratory infrastructure to support the diagnostic, regulatory and research and development functions necessary.

About Laboratory Services

The laboratory service consists of a central laboratory complex at Backweston, Celbridge, Co Kildare (which was opened in April 2007) together with a number of regional laboratories located throughout the country. The Backweston complex has brought together a number of different laboratories having a variety of functions into the one building. The construction of the new laboratories allows for future developments that are likely to be required to meet needs associated with client requirements and technological developments The laboratories involved are the:

  • Central Veterinary Research laboratory (comprising the divisions of Bacteriology, Pathology, and Virology)
  • Veterinary Public Health Regulatory Laboratory (VPHRL)
  • Pesticide Control Service
  • Dairy Science Laboratory
  • Seed Testing and Plant Health Laboratories.

In addition to the Backweston complex, six Regional Veterinary Laboratories, (whose primary work is in disease diagnosis and surveillance) located at Athlone, Cork, Kildare, Kilkenny, Limerick and Sligo, a Brucellosis Laboratory in Cork and two regional Dairy Science laboratories at Limerick and Cork complete the laboratory service.


National Reference Laboratories

  • Animal Proteins
  • Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Campylobacter
  • Chemical Elements in Food of Animal Origin
  • Coagulase Positive Staphylococci
  • Escherichia Coli
  • Listeria Monocytogenes
  • Milk and Milk Products
  • Transmissable Spongiform Encephalopathies
  • Zoonoses
  • Viruses

Contact Us

DAFM Laboratories,

Tel. +353 (0) 1 6157100
Fax +353 (0) 1 6157199

Find this office on an interactive map.


Please be aware that the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory will be fully closed on Thursday 25th December 2014 , Friday 26th December 2014 and Thursday 1st January 2015.

Over the Christmas period, staffing levels are reduced so please contact 01 6157100 to discuss urgent results or other special testing arrangements.

For all exotic disease suspects, the Department of Agriculture Animal Disease Hotline is 1890 252 283.

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