Molecular Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory officially launched to improve Animal Health Service

Molecular Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory officially launched to improve Animal Health Service

Australia's Ambassador to Timor-Leste, William Castello (Photo Tatoli/

DILI, 17 june 2022 (TATOLI) – The Minister of Agriculture, and Fisheries (MoAF), Pedro dos Reis together with the Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Bill Costello have officially launched Timor-Leste’s Molecular Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL), funded by Australian Aid.

The launch of the Molecular Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory marked a milestone in the development of Animal Disease Diagnostic in the country.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Ambassador Costello said MVDL is a significant achievement to improve the surveillance and diagnostic capacity of the Timorese animal health service to determine where the disease has spread.

He said as a close neighbor of Timor-Leste, Australia is committed to working together with the Government of Timor-Leste on biosecurity issues.

“Biosecurity is becoming of increasing concern about our countries given that global spread of diseases such as African Swine Fever (ASF), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD),” Costello said at the launching ceremony, in Dili, on friday.

“I am glad that the Australian government has been able to support Timor-Leste in its response to ASF through the program developed by Agriculture Victoria. It’s a 1.3 million AUD program delivered between 2022 and 2023,” Costello said. “With the partnership of agriculture Victory has enabled to quickly detect, diagnose and response to animal disease in Timor-Leste”

At the same place, the Project Leader of the ‘Improved Animal Health System in Timor-Leste’ Grant Rawlin said the MVDL will help the National Directorate of Veterinary to quickly diagnose the animal disease in the country within 24 hours without sending samples overseas.

“This test is a molecular test that is suited to rapid needs of tracking the outbreaks. This laboratory will quickly allow Timor-Leste to have a better handful to perform a test called qPCR. This test can be directed against any viruses or bacteria causing diseases in animals,” said Rawlin.

He said the local laboratory staff is confident already in performing the diagnostic of animal diseases, including African Swine Fever (ASF), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).

“There are three areas of expertise that make up the good veterinary public service – the ability to have quality laboratory results, smart field service, and epidemiology and strategy,” he added.

Minister Reis thanked the Australian Government for supporting Timor-Leste with the Molecular Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

“The MVDL will support the MoAF, especially in improving Timor-Leste animal health service,” said Reis.

The Diagnostic Veterinary Laboratory is made up of three departments, including bacteriology, parasitology, and serology with 11 Veterinary Laboratory Technicians.

Apart from the MVDL, in 2011, Timor-Leste’s first Diagnostic Veterinary Laboratory was inaugurated by President Jose Ramos Horta.

Since then, Timor-Leste’s Diagnostic Veterinary Laboratory had been carried out 26.000 samples in diagnosing a number of animal diseases such as Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) or Mad Cow Disease (BCD), Newcastle Disease, Classical Swine Fever, and African Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease, etc.


Journalist: Filomeno Martins 

Editor: Nelia Borges 


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