Construction work has started on a new $24 million veterinary diagnostic laboratory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

The facility will be one of five regional labs in the United States with the capability to track outbreaks of dangerous animal diseases and potential bioterrorism.

The lab, which is targeted to open in July 2006, will serve more than 2,000 veterinarians in the state, along with agribusiness companies and several state agencies.