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.
- ensure Scotland has appropriate contingency plans to deal with any animal disease outbreaks
are working to improve animal welfare by placing a duty of care on the people responsible
ensure animal by-products comply with regulations, and act as competent authority in certain circumstances, to protect animal and public health
control the movement of animals via livestock identification, imports and exports
carry out a range of animal welfare inspections to help protect consumers interests and maintain high standards of welfare
- are reviewing field delivery of animal health services with a view to creating a new Scottish Veterinary Service (SVS)
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
Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate
Animal Health and Welfare
P Spur - Saughton House