Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency

About Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) is an executive agency working on behalf of the Department for the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), Scottish Government and Welsh Government. The agency was formed on 1 April 2011, following the merger of Animal Health and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

Our role is to safeguard animal health and welfare as well as public health, protect the economy and enhance food security through research, surveillance and inspection.

We primarily work to prevent and control animal disease across Great Britain through activities on farms, at markets and other livestock-related premises, and through specialist veterinary laboratory and scientific services. We are also responsible for advising policy-making departments and providing veterinary evidence base for animal health and welfare policy decisions.

Our range of functions include research and consultancy, the surveillance and management of disease controls, including import and export controls, and protecting the nation’s food supply through egg marketing inspections. 

We also have global responsibilities, notably acting as the national, European and international reference laboratory for several exotic and zoonotic notifiable diseases, and protecting CITES listed endangered species through our wildlife registration and licensing role.

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