A research team at the Atlantic Veterinary College in P.E.I. has received a federal grant to assist in the development of faster and less expensive tests for detecting viruses in bovine and swine herds.

The grant of $709,138 from Agriculture and Agri-Food will assist in creating the tests that will not only detect viruses but help prevent the spread of diseases in beef, dairy and pork exports in the region.

The research team is hoping to create a diagnostic test that can identify multiple viruses from a single sample. Animal diseases that carry the highest economic risk in the global marketplace will be targeted.

"This project will strengthen our ability to monitor for, and prevent the spread of, diseases that may affect the beef, dairy, and pork export industries in Atlantic Canada," said Dr. Greg Keefe, dean at the Atlantic Veterinary College in a news release.

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay said the partnership with the college "will ensure our industry continues to be recognized domestically and internationally for producing high quality products."