Science

AHVLA website move to GOV.UK

The AHVLA website will close in September. The website addresses will be redirected to AHVLA content on GOV.UK or the archived version of the website on the National Archives website.

Image of a science lab

Much of AHVLA’s scientific activity is focused on protecting Great Britain against the threat and impact of a wide variety of animal diseases. Our research provides scientific evidence that allows us to provide expert advice and feeds into policy development for the UK government and the EU. We work with farmers and vets in the field and undertake surveillance activities.

AHVLA also acts as an international reference laboratory for a wide range of infectious and non-infectious diseases in farm animals; providing a range of veterinary and scientific consultancy to countries across the world. Key functions include confirmatory testing, standardisation of diagnostic methods, technical training and expert consultancy.

Our key areas of research include bovine TB, rabies, TSEs such as BSE, avian influenza, and food-borne bacteria such as Salmonella, campylobacter and E.coli.

These activities are delivered via the agency’s key scientific disciplines:

  • Epidemiology
  • Virology
  • Bacteriology
  • Pathology
  • Parasitology
  • Biomathematics
  • Molecular biology
  • Immunology

Science Strategy 2012 – 2015 ‘Expertise with Impact’

In July 2012, AHVLA published its first science strategy. The strategy demonstrates how science is fundamental to everything the agency does and highlights its commitment to delivering high quality science-based evidence for policy development.

The Strategy is based around three key strategic themes that reflect the key purpose of AHVLA’s scientific activities:

  • Threat awareness
  • Threat definition
  • Threat mitigation

AHVLA’s science works at the core of these three themes, identifying risks, characterising pathogens and working on ways to reduce risks in the future.

Defra Science Audit

Defra conducts science audits of its laboratory agencies every five years. These ensure that the science carried out by the laboratories is of high and appropriate quality and is meeting Defra’s requirements.

The audit teams include independent experts from academia, government and industry who work in the areas of surveillance, scientific services and research, former VLA was last audited in 2007 and the executive summary outlines the audit team’s assessment.

Page last modified: 1 September 2014