Sunday, April 17, 2011 - Mark Humph
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency merge to create
Animal Health and the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) will merge on 1 April 2011 to
create the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA).
Both agencies work to combat animal diseases, and bringing together their services,
expertise and scientific capability will create a stronger organisation capable of providing a
range of vital services to the livestock farming industry and related sectors.
Importantly, the merger will increase the resilience of the combined agency's operations in
a difficult financial climate. Joining the two organisations creates new and wider
opportunities to identify more cost effective, flexible and robust ways of working.
AHVLA will work across Great Britain on behalf of Defra, the Welsh Assembly Government,
and the Scottish Government. It will also have some UK functions and many international
roles ‐ for example as the international reference laboratory for important farm animal
diseases such as avian influenza, bovine tuberculosis, classical swine fever and TSEs.
Catherine Brown, AHVLA's chief executive, said: "During a time of great pressure on the
public purse the merger of Animal Health and the VLA will create a single, more robust,
supplier of high quality veterinary services and science, and enhances our ability to respond
to animal disease outbreaks.
"We will work to help safeguard animal health and welfare and public health, protect the
economy and enhance food security through research, surveillance and inspection.
"We face many challenges, including reduced public expenditure and economic pressures
on the industries we support and regulate. Despite this I am confident that by working
closely with the livestock industry, veterinary profession and others we will continue to
provide many services vital for the future of livestock farming."
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