Animal & Plant Health Agency
The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) is an executive agency of the UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and also works on behalf of the Welsh Government and the Scottish Government.
Our headquarters is located at APHA Weybridge near London in Surrey, UK with additional regional laboratories, offices and border inspections points across the UK, employing around 2,200 staff.
Our mission is to protect animal and plant health for the benefit of people, the environment and the economy.
APHA has a long standing reputation as a world leading centre of veterinary science expertise, acknowledged by our status as a National and International Reference Laboratory for a wide range of infectious and non-infectious diseases in animals.
The agency also provides veterinary and scientific consultancy to countries throughout the world offering:
• confirmatory testing
• technical training and expert consultancy
• development and standardization of diagnostic methods to ensure they are fit for purpose to detect new strains of pathogens
Since 2014, our responsibilities also cover plant and bee health, invasive species threats, monitoring for genetically modified (GM) products plus a range of other animal health and welfare related work. This has broadened our activities, but our overall focus remains the same with the majority of our scientific activity directed towards protecting the nation, its animals, crops and environment against the threat and impact of a wide variety of pests, diseases, invasive non-native species and other animal and plant related threats. We also play a critical role in a co-ordinated national emergency response to control any disease and pest outbreaks.
APHA makes a significant contribution to securing a sustainable and safe food supply for the nation, we protect the public against zoonotic diseases, we improve the health and welfare of animals, and we protect our crops and environment from new threats and support international trade and the nation’s wider economy. Our scientific expertise and international networks influences disease and risk control at a global level and helps to reduce the risk and consequences of their entry into the United Kingdom.
• identifying and controlling endemic and exotic diseases and pests in animals, plants and bees, and surveillance of new and emerging pests and diseases
• scientific research in areas such as bacterial, viral, prion and parasitic diseases and vaccines, and food safety; and act as an international reference laboratory for many farm animal diseases
• facilitating international trade in animals, products of animal origin, and plants
• protecting endangered wildlife through licensing and registration
• managing a programme of apiary (bee) inspections, diagnostics, research and development, and training and advice
• regulating the safe disposal of animal by-products to reduce the risk of potentially dangerous substances entering the food chain