COVID-19 Service updates

COVID-19 Service updates

Gribbles Veterinary have been advised by MPI that since we are a part of the national Surveillance Programme, as well having accreditation as a Recognised Laboratory Programme (RLP), our laboratories are considered an essential service and will remain open for testing during all COVID-19 Alert levels.

During this COVID-19 crisis, we will be making changes to testing and services as required in order to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on staff and help reduce the spread, as well as continue to provide you with a high level of service. We will keep you updated with changes as and when required. The following are changes to our service that have come into effect.

If you have any questions or require further information, please just contact your local laboratory or Territory Manager.


11 May 2020 – Level 1&2 – Histology samples have resumed being processed in Palmerston North, so samples can be sent directly to our PN laboratory instead of to Christchurch (if you started sending directly to CH for a better turn-around-time during Level 4&3 lock-down).

20 March 2020 – Due to the increased processing demand in medical laboratories around the country during Level 4, we are changing to processing more histology samples in our Christchurch Gribbles laboratory.  There will be a small increase in turn-around-time for some histology testing— this mostly will affect Palmerston North clients.

Post-mortem services

14 May 2020 – Level 1&2 – Post-mortem services have resumed. Please contact your local laboratory if you have any questions. Please note, as per prior to COVID-19, PMs are not available in our Hamilton or Christchurch laboratories.

20 March 2020 – Post-mortem (PM) services are not currently available at any of our laboratories, except for extraordinary circumstances:

– Please call the laboratory before sending bodies and discuss with a Pathologist. Our Pathologists will decide if a necropsy will proceed.

– We recommend Veterinarians perform PMs in-house or on-farm and submit samples to your local laboratory for further testing. Where this is not possible, e.g. SPCA, please call the laboratory and talk to a Pathologist.

– Deferred PMs can be frozen at your premises with the understanding that histology samples will be compromised when a PM is finally performed.

– Any bodies submitted to the laboratory without prior Pathologist consultation will be disposed of at your expense or can be retrieved. Clients will be notified on submission.


20 March 2020 – Level 1&2 – Following government advice that all staff who can work from home, should work from home, our pathologists have moved to home-based set-ups where possible.  This may impact on turn-around-times for cytology samples.

Saturday service

13 May 2020 – Level 1&2 – As we move into Level 2 all laboratories will now be offering essential services on Saturdays. Samples received but not tested on Saturday will be partially processed and tested on Monday as per Level 4.

2 April 2020 – Due to the decreased number of submissions during level 4, we are no longer offering a full Saturday testing service.  Samples will be processed and then tested on Monday. 

Meat-works liver sampling

23 March 2020 – AsureQuality have confirmed that the liver sampling services at all North and South Island Meat Works locations will continue throughout the COVID-19 Alert Level-4 period and beyond. However, there is an increased chance of sampling being interrupted due to reduced staffing levels.

Consumable ordering

27 March 2020 – Please DO NOT call the laboratory to place orders for consumables over the phone.  Visit our website and either download a form to email or fax through, or order online.  This will ensure our admin staff are able to concentrate on processing samples to ensure our service levels remain at a high level.

Oestrone Sulphate testing

11 May 2020 – Level 1&2 – Equine oestrone sulphate testing is back up and running.

20 March 2020 – Equine oestrone sulphate testing is not available during this Level 4 lock-down period. Any samples received will be placed on hold.

Pet cremations (Fond Farewells)

20 March 2020 – Pet cremations are also considered an essential service and Fond Farewells (Christchurch) is still operating, however is no longer open to the public.  ALL cremations must now be arranged via a veterinary clinic.