Animal health and welfare

Animal health and welfare policy includes action to help prevent, plan for and deal with disease, including veterinary surveillance, controls on livestock movement, identification and traceability, animal by-products and the control of imports and exports.

There have been cases of avian influenza (bird flu) in Scotland. Read more: bird flu outbreaks.




Animal health and welfare policy, with the exception of the veterinary profession, veterinary medicines and international negotiations, is devolved to Scottish Ministers. We work closely with a range of stakeholders, other UK administrations, regulatory and enforcement authorities to develop evidence based policies.

The Animal Health and Welfare in the Livestock Industry Strategy: 2016 to 2021 is a five-year strategy, tailored to Scotland's needs. The strategy was prepared in consultation with farming organisations, animal welfare organisations and veterinary scientists.

The Animal health and welfare framework 2019 to 2020 sets out a risk based approach to the duties carried out by local authorities in Scotland.

Bills and legislation

Animal disease control and welfare is subject to a range of legislation. Relevant law is detailed in the corresponding section.



Telephone: 0300 244 9874

Scottish Government   
Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate  
Animal Health and Welfare  
P Spur - Saughton House  
Broomhouse Drive  
EH11 3XD  

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