Picture representing current thematic area


We were established in 1989 and became a Next Steps Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food (MAFF) in 1990. We became an Executive Agency of Defra on 7 June 2001.

We operate within an overall policy and financial framework determined by the Secretary of State for Defra, through the Minister of State (Local Environment, Marine & Animal Welfare). Our day-to-day management within this framework, and our performance against our key targets, is the responsibility of our Chief Executive Officer (CEO), supported by Directors of Authorisations and Operations. Our policy, legal and resources framework is set out in our Framework Document.

We divide our work into three main areas, or "businesses":

Authorisations, responsible for the assessment of applications; issuing and maintenance of Marketing Authorisations; the licensing of manufacturers and wholesale dealers of veterinary medicines. Also responsible for considering and issuing import and export certificates for veterinary medicines.

The main customers are Marketing Authorisation holders; manufacturers and importers of veterinary medicines; manufacturers of medicated animal feedingstuffs; retailers of veterinary medicines and medicated animal feedingstuffs; the veterinary profession; other stakeholders including farmers and keepers of animals; the European Medicines Agency (EMA); Department of Health (DH); Food Standards Agency (FSA) and consumers.

Residues, responsible for the surveillance for residues arising from veterinary medicines and banned substances in home produced livestock and animal products and imported animal products, reporting of results and co-ordinating follow-up action. The Residues business has contracts with other agencies and companies who carry out work on our behalf at abattoirs and other first processing industries, on farms and at retailers of meat and other animal products, and at ports. We also work with other stakeholders including consumer representative groups, the EC and the FSA who are responsible for food safety follow-up action.

Operations, responsible for servicing, developing and implementing new policy/legislation on all aspects of veterinary medicines; providing support to Ministers through briefing and advice on replies to correspondence and Parliamentary Questions; pharmacovigilance for veterinary medicines; inspection of manufacturers, wholesale dealers and retailers of veterinary medicines and day-to-day management of the veterinary medicines R&D programme on behalf of the Policy customer (Food & Farming Group (FFG), Defra). The Policy business works closely with Ministers and officials of Defra and other Government Departments and Agencies including the FSA, the general public, industry, consumer representative groups, the EC, embassies and other representatives of foreign governments.

The three businesses are supported by our dedicated support teams providing Information Technology (IT), strategic support, Staff Training and Liaison services, Finance and providing information to customers about our activities and achievements.

Last Updated: 21 January 2011

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