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Animal and Plant Health Agency

Animal and Plant Health Agency

We work to safeguard animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy.

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.

Our responsibilities

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

Our priorities for 2021 to 2022 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


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