The Laboratory Services Unit (LSU) is one of the four functional technical units under the National Centre for Animal Health in Serbithang. The unit functions as the national referral veterinary laboratory in the country with a Bio-Safety Level Plus 2 (BSL +2) facility. It is equipped with advanced diagnostic capacities such as real time RT-PCR and ELISA for some of the emerging livestock diseases including the highly pathogenic avian influenza.
Currently, the unit has 7 sections i.e. Bacteriology, Serology & Virology, Toxicology & Bio-chemistry, Parasitology, Post-mortem and Pathology, Hematology and Bio-safety & Bio-security Sections and each section under the LSU is equipped with advanced diagnostic facilities for diagnosis of important livestock diseases in the country.
The unit is primarily responsible for the production of viral and bacterial vaccines and other biological. The unit also imports vaccines which are not produced within the country for distribution to the field. It also monitors vaccine quality aspects in collaboration with DPCU. The unit is also responsible to provide technical support and monitor the cold chain facilities in the field to ensure the effective storage of vaccine and veterinary biological.
The main function of the DVEU is overall management and co-ordination of Essential Veterinary Drug Program (EVDP) in the country through
The Disease Prevention and Control Unit (DPCU) formulate implements and monitor the various nationally coordinated disease prevention and control programs for disease such as FMD, HPAI, Rabies, HS, NCD etc in the country
This unit is responsible to maintain the database on the livestock diseases prevalent in the country through the online TADinfo database system. The unit is entrusted to compile, analyse, and report the incidences of outbreaks of notifiable diseases to the higher authorities in Bhutan and to the global animal health body (OIE). The unit also spearheads the formulation of animal disease emergency response plans (contingency plans) for trans-boundary emerging animal diseases and also develop standards for import and export regulations in consultation with the other stakeholders of livestock sector.
It is also the focal agency for contact (reporting and feedback) with international organizations like OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), FAO, WHO, APHCA (Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia Pacific) on all matters of animal health concerns.
The section is responsible for maintaining disease information system and analysis of disease data including disease mapping, designing and supervising disease surveys, assisting the unit in formulating rapid response plans and updating of standards for animal diseases for import-export.
The section is responsible for formulation, implementation and monitoring of all the nationally coordinated zoonotic disease control programme. The section is also mandated to take lead in the to establish closer links with the Department of Public Health of the Ministry of Health for undertaking surveys, surveillance programs, and researches on zoonotic diseases through One Health approach so as to minimize the risk to human beings.
The unit is responsible for providing clinical services to the nearly villages in Thimphu or as and when requested by Dzongkhags for cases which the field staff are not capable to handle.
Research unit will be set up as one of the unit under NCAH and coordinates all animal health researches carried out by National Centre for Animal Health, Serbithang, Regional Livestock Development Centres and Dzongkhag Veterinary Hospitals Entrusted with identifying and prioritizing research needs and planning of the identified researches. Liaise with RNR RDC Jakar and other International Institute for collaborative research. Preparation and publication of research findings for distribution to the target clients and other stakeholders for information dissemination
National Dog Population Management & Rabies Control Project (NDPM & RCP) is a collaborative effort of Royal Government of Bhutan (Department of Livestock) and Humane Society International with a 50-50 partnership, with funds flowing in both cash and kind. The Initiation: Realizing the need to effectively manage dog population in a scientific, humane, and sustainable manner, the government embarked upon the use of Animal Birth Control/Anti-rabies Vaccination (ABC/AR) programs in line with international standards.
The Department of Livestock under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests initiated training of the veterinarians on ABC techniques through the support of NGOs such as Vets Beyond Borders (VBB), an Australia based NGO and Humane Society International (HSI), a US based NGO. The proposal of HSI was more relevant and applicable in our Bhutanese context hence the Ministry enlisted the assistance of HSI, to draft and implement a sustainable and resource-efficient, national dog population management and rabies control strategy using the Catch-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (CNVR) protocol.
Before the formal launch of the project in June 2009, a 4 months pilot phase was undertaken so as to understand the ground realities before the launch of the Ist phase with effect from February to May 2009 in which a total of 2846 dogs and cats were sterilized and vaccinated using the Catch, Neuter, Vaccinate and Release (CNVR) protocol.
The first phase which lasted from September 2009 to June 2012 covered all 20 Dzongkhags and some more than twice. In the 1st phase a total of 36987 dogs and 1548 cats were sterilized and vaccinated through CNVR. There were 3 teams working in different Dzongkhags and each team comprised of 2 vets, 7 dog catchers/nurse/prep and a driver with a dog catching van. Most of the team members at that time were HSI consultants with few Bhutanese counterparts as we lacked the technical expertise.
After the successful implementation of 1st phase and the need to complete the set target of covering 80 percent of free roaming dogs, the 2nd phase of the project was launched in July 2012 for a period of 3 years till June 2015.