The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) merged with Animal Health in April 2011 to create the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA).

With a staff of 3,000 across the UK, AHVLA is an executive agency of Defra, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and its key roles include disease surveillance, providing advice to livestock keepers, facilitating trade in animals, ensuring safe disposal of animal by-products and responding to cases of notifiable disease. 

The agency also provides a wide range of applied research and consultancy on livestock diseases, specialized testing, epidemiology and risk assessment services.

In addition, AHVLA works to protect endangered wildlife by regulating the trade in CITES protected species, and delivers inspections which help ensure that eggs and milk comply with marketing and hygiene regulations.

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