The Animal Health Service is responsible for monitoring and influencing the standards of animal health and welfare on farms.
There are over 150 Acts, Orders and Regulations that the service is responsible for enforcing.
The primary objectives of this legislation are to:
- Prevent, control and eradicate animal disease
- Protect the welfare of animals on agricultural holdings, in transit and at markets
- Safeguard human health and the food chain from transmissible diseases
The Animal Health Service has signed up to the Animal Health and Welfare Framework Agreement which was introduced to develop better cross agency working and provide greater nationwide consistency with regards to promoting and enforcing animal health standards at farms, markets, abattoirs and so on.
Local Authority Animal Health Officers carry out a disease risk assessment of all livestock farms in their area, using a format set out in the Framework Agreement i.e. species and numbers of animals kept, management controls.
Each premise is categorised accordingly (high, medium and low risk) which then enables the department to prioritise what order farms need to be visited.
During a scheduled visit to a farm the Animal Health officer will check all livestock related documentation including; flock and herd records of all movements on and off the premise, veterinary medicine records and animal by-products disposal route.
Stock on the holding will also be checked on welfare grounds to ascertain whether or not they comply with current tagging/ID legislation.
Animal related online applications and permits