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About Prairie Diagnostic Services

Our Vision 

A Leader in Veterinary Diagnostic Services

Our Mission

Provide client focused laboratory services and expertise in diagnostics, surveillance, teaching and research in support of animal health, public health, environmental health, food safety and market access.

Overview of PDS 

Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. (PDS) is a non-profit corporation created by a partnership of the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan (the members). PDS is dedicated to providing a full range of veterinary diagnostic services.

PDS, as a not-for-profit, has a unique business model among Canadian publicly funded laboratories. Other labs that serve the public interest are typically governed and funded by the Province/State either directly, or through Universities in association with Veterinary Colleges. In contrast, PDS is governed by a Board of Directors and operates independently. Laboratory services are supported through the provision of grants and in-kind contributions from the Province and the University as well as fee for service from clients.

Governance and Management

PDS operations are overseen by a fifteen person Board of Directors appointed by the members.  The Board includes four member Directors, two each from the U of S and the Province, and eleven independent Directors.  Independent Directors come from Ontario, all three prairie provinces and British Columbia to help position the company for strategic partnerships with the other provincial laboratories, clients and governments in supporting delivery of a comprehensive diagnostic service across the provinces.   

PDS Board of Directors 

Dr. Wayne Lees, Board Chair
Dr. Barry Blakley, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) , U of S
Dr. Elemir Simko, Veterinary Pathology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), U of S
Derek Hoffman, Miller Thomson LLP
Rodelle Genoway, Director, Workforce Development, Untapped Potential Business Consulting Ltd. 
Patrick W. Pitka, CFO Genome Prairie
Dr. Julie de Moissac, Bratton Road Vet Holdings
Dr. Nancy deWith, Veterinary Epidemiologist, Government of B.C.
Dr. Michael Grant Maxie, Animal Health Laboratory - Laboratory Services
Lee D. Whittington, Prairie Swine Centre
Robert Pentland, Senior Manager, Financial Services, Ministry of Agriculture
Grant Zalinko, Executive Director, Ministry of Agriculture
Dr. Trent Wennekamp, Lloydminster Animal Hospital
Dr. William Murphy, Associate Professor - University of Saskatchewan
Dr. Susan Cork, Professor - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary 

The PDS Board of Directors has three sub-committees to support the work of the Board: the executive committee, a governance committee and an audit, finance and risk committee.  PDS operations are managed by a team of six senior staff, including CEO. 


Laboratory services are supported through the provision of grants and in-kind contributions from the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan as well as fee for service from clients.

The grant and in-kind support from the Province supports the provision of diagnostic testing services to the livestock industry as well as core disease surveillance work, while the grant from the University supports undergraduate and graduate teaching of veterinary students, diagnostic support for research and test development at the College, and maintenance of professional diagnostic expertise among faculty at the College.

Laboratory Operations

PDS is located at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) in Saskatoon with laboratories integrated directly into the College. The laboratory provides a full range of diagnostic services including: necropsy, surgical pathology, clinical pathology, histology, bacteriology, immunology, molecular diagnostics, virology, and toxicology. A contract lab at WCVM provides endocrinology services.

Diagnostic service is provided by 8 professional diagnostic staff and approximately 45 laboratory technologists and administrative staff. WCVM faculty actively participate in providing the diagnostic service through contract arrangements with PDS.

PDS implements a quality management system in accordance with the current version of ISO/IEC 17025 and is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) as a testing laboratory for specific tests as listed in the Scope of Accreditation.   The laboratory participates in proficiency test programs, inter-laboratory comparisons, and in-lab assessments to ensure the standard of testing expertise is maintained.  

CAHSN Partnership

PDS, along with other University, Provincial and Federal laboratories across Canada is part of the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN), which was established to increase surveillance and diagnostic testing capacity for emerging and Foreign Animal Diseases.

 In support of the CAHSN initiative, PDS operates a Level 2+ bio-security testing laboratory where testing on highly pathogenic organisms can be performed.  The lab is currently accredited by the SCC to test for Avian Influenza via both Real Time (RT) PCR and serology, Swine Influenza Real Time (RT) PCR, Newcastle Disease Real Time (RT) PCR, Foot and Mouth Disease via both Real Time (RT) PCR and serology, and Classical Swine Fever Real Time (RT) PCR.