The Department of Agriculture laboratories at Athlone and Sligo are among a number around the country set to benefit from a ten year investment plan announced today.
The plan which involves almost €34 million euro of spending is aimed at helping ease access for farmers to the lab services and to improve diagnostic capabilities on the sites.
The investment in the lab network will happen in five different stages over the next 10 years starting with the establishment of a helpline and the first two carcass transfer centres before the end of next year.
This is to be followed by the replacement of existing facilities at Kilkenny and Sligo, plus the establishment of bigger laboratories in Athlone and Cork.
Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan is welcoming confirmation that the long-term future of Sligo veterinary lab is safe with major plans announced to upgrade the existing facility.
The Department says that apart from the capital investments, the funding will also be used to invest in teams of people with the skills and expertise needed to provide a world class diagnostic service.