Upgrades coming for South Dakota's animal research lab

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota's animal disease research lab is in line for much-needed renovations and upgrades after Gov. Dennis Daugaard approved creative funding to provide millions of dollars.

Daugaard signed legislation Friday to upgrade and expand the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

The lab performs daily food safety tests and also tests for disease in pigs, cattle and other livestock. It's used by many farmers in the state and was a key player in the bird flu outbreak of two years ago.

That outbreak highlighted the need for upgrades estimated to cost more than $50 million.

The legislation signed Friday will combine state money along with some redirection of property tax relief for agricultural land.