California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System

National Networks

Image: ICLN Image

Five laboratory networks are linked into the Integrated Consortium of Laboratory Networks.  CAHFS was one of the original 12 pilot laboratories chosen for the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN), designed to meld federal and state resources for rapid response to intentional or unintentional incursions of foreign animal diseases.  The definition has been broadened to include laboratories doing federal government contract work.  

CAHFS is also part of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN).  This network of federal, state, and county public health laboratories, along with a small number of agricultural and animal health laboratories, was created to respond to terrorist events should the nation’s food supply be threatened with radiation, infectious agents, and/or chemicals.  The toxicology lab is one of eight laboratories selected in a competitive process.  

CAHFS has been accepted into the Laboratory Response Network (LRN), which is managed by CDC to respond to threat agents that could be employed by terrorists such as the anthrax letters.  Three levels of laboratories exist: sentinel, reference, and confirmatory.  Since only federal laboratories are qualified as confirmatory laboratories, CAHFS serves as a sentinel laboratory.