KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Herb Harbin has worked on a ranch all his life. Harbin was there for the ribbon cutting at the grand opening of the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. 

  • Expansion includes $11M in high-tech instruments
  • New lab is an addition to older facility
  • Lab tracks high-consequence animal diseases

“We do this because this is what we love to do,” Harbin said.

The new lab is an addition to an older facility which sits on the same property. The laboratory is expanding to include $11 million in high-tech instruments.

The land was donated to the state in 1958 by the Bronson family with a vision to support the animal industry. 

Charles Bronson said he was a fourth grader in Kissimmee when the original building opened.

“My cousin Irlo Bronson who was a state senator at the time in the 50’s,” Bronson said. “They finally talked everyone into putting the facility in central Florida and he donated the land for the facility to be here.” 

The lab is more than just veterinary diagnostics. They also keep tabs on high-consequence animal diseases like African swine fever or Zika virus and work closely with the health department to better public safety. 

“And we have an opportunity to really make a big difference on how we’re treating all of our animals across the state. And really an opportunity for others to bring their animals here,” said Nikki Fried the Commissioner for Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services.  

Harbin said he feels a sigh of relief knowing he can bring the remains of an animal, big or small to be checked out in his own county.

“Before vultures or another animal gets to it and destroys the evidence so we could do this,” Harbin added. “So it’s very important for a lot of us that we get it loaded and we go to the lab.” 

The Bronson Lab is the only animal disease diagnostic laboratory in Florida fully accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians.