We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

Responsibility and Cost Sharing

A Partnership Approach to the Management of Animal Health and Welfare

Responsibility for animal health and welfare policy, with the exception of the veterinary profession, veterinary medicines and international negotiations, is devolved to Scotland.

Scottish Government is committed to:

  • The prevention of animal disease in Scotland
  • Working in partnership with industry to drive up standards of animal health and welfare, and control and manage animal disease and disease risks in Scotland.
European Commission

The European Commission has developed an Animal Health Strategy that provides a framework for animal health and welfare measures over the period of 2007-2013. The strategy is based on the principle that prevention is better than cure. The strategy's aim is to place greater emphasis on precautionary measures, disease surveillance, control and research to reduce the incidence of animal disease and to minimise the impact of exotic disease outbreaks when they occur.

Within the wider framework of the European Animal Health Strategy the Commission is looking at ways to balance the distribution of costs and responsibilities amongst all those involved in managing and controlling epidemic livestock diseases.

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ( Defra) has also been considering approaches to achieve better management of animal disease risks so that the overall risks and costs are reduced.

For further details about the work undertaken by Defra please see the Defra website

Expert Forum

In July 2010 Scottish Government established a small, short-term working group, the Expert Forum, to develop proposals for a partnership approach to exotic disease prevention and control in Scotland. The Forum concluded its work and published its report in mid March 2011.

The Expert Forum Report sets out the Forum's thinking on ways to take forward collective decision making and share the costs of exotic animal disease outbreaks.

The Forum recommends that the introduction of a levy as a means to share costs is its least preferred option.