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 member type non-profit corporation dedicated to providing veterinary diagnostic services. It's members are the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. The company was incorporated in 1998.

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 thirteen member Board of Directors appointed by the PDS members. The Board includes four representative directors, two each from the U of S and the Province, and nine independent directors. Representation from one or more of the other Prairie provinces is maintained on the Board to reflect the existing client group, and to position the company for strategic partnerships with the other provincial laboratories, clients and governments in supporting delivery of a comprehensive diagnostic service across the Prairies.

PDS Board of Directors

Dr. Wayne Lees, Board Chair
Dr. Julie de Moissac, Bratton Road Vet Holdings (Vice Chair)
Dr. Barry Blakley, Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) , U of S
Dr. Susan Cork, Professor, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary
Dr. Nancy deWith, Animal Health Vet Officer, BC, CFIA/Government of Canada
Derek Hoffman, Hoffman Group
Dr. Grant Maxie, (Retired) Animal Health Lab, University of Guelph
Dr. William Murphy, Associate Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Robert Pentland, Senior Manager, Financial Services, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture
Patrick W. Pitka, CFO Genome Prairie
Dr. Elemir Simko, Veterinary Pathology, Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), U of S
Dr. Trent Wennekamp, Lloydminster Animal Hospital
Lee D. Whittington, CEO, Four Oaks Investments
Venkata Vakulabharanam, Executive Director, Livestock Branch, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture

The PDS Board of Directors has four sub-committees to support the work of the Board: the Executive Committee, a Governance Committee, an Audit, Finance and Risk Committee and the Strategic Direction 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 14 professional diagnostic staff and approximately 54 laboratory technologists and administrative staff. WCVM faculty actively participate in providing the diagnostic service through contract arrangements with PDS.

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.  Refer to the current   Scope of Accreditation for the test methods accredited through the Standards Council of Canada.