The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and also works on behalf of the Scottish Government and Welsh Government.
The agency was launched on 1 October 2014. It merges the former Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) with parts of the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) responsible for plant and bee health to create a single agency responsible for animal, plant and bee health.
Who we are
Our headquarters is located in Weybridge, Surrey. We employ around 2,200 staff, based at various sites across the UK.
We’re responsible for:
- identifying and controlling endemic and exotic diseases and pests in animals, plants and bees, and surveillance of new and emerging pests and diseases
scientific research in areas such as bacterial, viral, prion and parasitic diseases and vaccines, and food safety; and act as an international reference laboratory for many farm animal diseases
- facilitating international trade in animals, products of animal origin, and plants
- protecting endangered wildlife through licensing and registration
- managing a programme of apiary (bee) inspections, diagnostics, research and development, and training and advice
- regulating the safe disposal of animal by-products to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous substances entering the food chain
Our priorities for 2017 to 2018 are:
- control and eradication of animal and plant diseases and pests, reducing the risks from new and emerging threats
- provide choice for animal health and welfare, plant and bee services
- rapidly control pest and disease outbreaks; continuing to maintain and develop the skills and capabilities required, so that we are able to deliver our core business and services and provide an efficient outbreak response
- continue to adapt and implement APHA outbreak response model plans and identify lessons from outbreaks to ensure we implement any improvements needed
- provide science-based evidence and advice to inform policy makers
- maintain our national and international specialist veterinary and scientific capability and reputation
The APHA offers additional services to the veterinary and scientific community, industry and the public, including:
- the supply of commercial products and services through APHA Scientific
- a disease alert service which helps keep people informed of the latest developments on animal disease
- an online tool called APHA Vet Gateway which provides access to veterinary information and instructions for official veterinarians and private veterinary surgeons, and access to Sam for online TB test submissions.
- an information resource for beekeepers to help keep their honey bees healthy and productive, and support the government’s bee health programme and Healthy Bees Plan.