Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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State Veterinary Service to become Animal Health

State Veterinary Service to become Animal Health

DEPARTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS News Release (92/07) issued by The Government News Network on 26 March 2007

From 1 April the State Veterinary Service (SVS), an executive agency of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), will change its name to Animal Health.

The move brings together, under a single agency, all the expertise previously offered by SVS, the Dairy Hygiene and Egg Marketing Inspectorates and the Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service. The formation of this new single body is in line with recommendations made by the Hampton Review, which considered more efficient approaches to regulation and looked at how to cut the time businesses have to spend on paperwork and other regulatory activities.

Glenys Stacey, Chief Executive of Animal Health, said:

"We plan to become one organisation in every sense. Already, Dairy Hygiene and Egg Marketing staff share premises with us or will do so after our merger and we will continue with this theme.

"The conservation work done by our Wildlife Licensing and Registration colleagues brings a new type of work to the organisation and again we welcome the opportunity it gives us to work more widely in animal health and welfare.

"We all welcome this merger; together we can deliver more comprehensively and with the customer in mind."

The re-naming of the enlarged agency under a single banner, Animal Health, will also ensure a single coherent identity that will be easily recognisable and apparent to the industry, other customers and the public.

Further information on the organisations is available at: up until 1 April, or from 2 April.

Notes to editors:

1. SVS became an executive agency of Defra on April 1, 2005. The Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate joined SVS in 2006, and the Egg Marketing Inspectorate and Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service will be joining from 1 April 2007.

2. The Hampton Review considered more efficient approaches to regulation and looked at how to cut the time businesses have to spend on paperwork and other regulatory activities. It suggested the consolidation of inspection and regulatory functions into seven thematic regulators, with SVS being the core of an animal health thematic, better able to develop and operate risk-based inspection models and ensure inspections are joined-up

3. The former State Veterinary Service: An executive agency of Defra, SVS has a central role in preventing, identifying and responding to animal disease in the UK. The agency seeks to protect the health and welfare of animals and minimise the impact of animal health issues on public health. Most recently, the agency led the field response to the H5N1 avian influenza outbreak at a Suffolk poultry farm in February.

4. Dairy Hygiene Inspectors: In England and Wales, dairy hygiene inspectors protect the nation's raw milk supply from the risk of contamination by bacteria and other substances. Inspectors aim to ensure a satisfactory standard of hygiene is maintained on farms in England and Wales, benefiting both the farmer and the public.

5. Egg Marketing Inspectorate: Inspectors ensure high standards of egg production are maintained and that imported eggs for human consumption adhere to the same strict standards in England and Wales. They are responsible for the enforcement of the EC Egg Marketing Regulations and EC Hatching Eggs and Chick Regulations at all marketing stages below retail level.

6. Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service (WLRS): The WLRS is responsible for monitoring the UK's protection of animals and plants under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). It mainly processes applications for the import/export and the sale of animals and plants protected by CITES and is also responsible for the registration of certain species of birds kept in captivity and protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

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