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General information

Our vision: to create a more reliable system of food safety by working together.

Our mission: to protect consumable food and healthy animals in Estonia.

Our values: reliability, professionalism, consideration, openness.

The Veterinary and Food Board (VFB) was established in 2000 as a result of reorganisation of the Veterinary and Food Inspectorate (VFI). This reorganisation was realised by extending the competence of the VFI in accordancewith the Veterinary Activities Organisation Act, the Infectious Animal Disease Control Act, and the Food Act, which all entered into force on 1 January of the same year, stipulating a change of the status of the governmental agency that executes these tasks. Regulation No. 12 of the Minister of Agriculture of 16 March 2000 on the reorganisation of the Veterinary and Food Inspectorate, confirmation of the statute of the Veterinary and Food Board, the structure and personnel of the Veterinary and Food Board, and local offices thereof entered into force on 1 April 2000.

The Veterinary and Food Board, a governmental agency carrying out its tasks under the area of governance of the Ministry of Agriculture, functions as a supervising body and ensures that the requirements stipulated by the legislation that governs veterinary medicine, food safety, market regulation, animal welfare, and farm animal breeding are followed and executes supervision over the fulfilment of these requirements and applies enforcement by state pursuant to the procedures and in the amount prescribed by law. In addition to the mentioned acts, VFB adheres in its professional activities the Trade, Import And Export of Animals and Animal Products Act, the Import and Export Veterinary Control Act, the Animal Protection Act, the Farm Animals Breeding Act, the Organic Farming Act, the Medicinal Products Act, the Common Agricultural Policy Implementation Act, the Feed Act, and other legislation laid down pursuant to these acts.

The broader objective of the VFB is to ensure the consumers the production of safe, healthy, and high-quality food and raw materials for food, to prevent and eradicate infectious animal diseases, to protect people from diseases common to both people and animals and diseases that are spread by animals, but at the same time to protect animals from human activity or inactivity endangering their health and welfare, to ensure productivity of farm animals and increase their genetic value, and to preserve the genetic pool and profitability of keeping animals.

Pursuant to this, the tasks of the Veterinary and Food Board are to:
• plan and organise the prevention and control of infectious animal diseases
• protect humans from diseases common to both people and animals
• protect animals from factors endangering their welfare and demand that the animals are kept and treated as appropriate
• check the safety of food and raw material for food when food and raw material for food are produced, during their preliminary processing, processing, transportation, and wholesale
• execute supervision over the activities of companies engaged in production of food and raw material for food, preliminary processing, processing, transportation, and wholesale
• execute supervision over organic processing of food and raw material for food
• organise laboratory analysis to diagnose infectious animal diseases and assess the properties of food, feed, hay, straw, medicated feed, and drinking water
• protect the environment from harmful factors that are the result of keeping animals or infectious animal diseases
• control the use of medicinal products and medicated feed by veterinarians and animal-keepers manufacturing animal products
• check animals, food, and raw material for food, including checks of products of animal origin and agricultural products carrying markings that refer to organic farming, upon their importation to the Republic of Estonia
• arrange the grant of approval to persons involved in animal breeding
• execute supervision over farm animal breeding
• organise the preservation of genetic resources of farm animals
• organise control procedures necessary for the implementation of market regulation measures on the milk and meat market
• organise supervision over the quality of alcohol and act as the processor of the state register of alcohol
• organise and exercise supervision over the compliance of feed and production of feed with the requirements and act as the processor of the state register of feed

The structure of the VFB consists of a central office and four regions, which join the 15 local offices. The main task of the central office is to coordinate supervision related to veterinary and food control and under the Farm Animals Breeding Act. Supervision is exercised by the local offices.

The VFB employs a total of 314 officials (as at 1 April 2019), 68 of whom work at the central office, 224 in local offices, and 22 in border crossing points.
In performing its tasks, the VFB uses the services of the Veterinary and Food Laboratory, laboratories authorised in accordance with the Veterinary Activities Organisation Act, laboratories that hold an activity licence for a veterinary laboratory, and laboratories authorised in accordance with the Food Act.

Business hours of the authority are Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–4 p.m.

Last updated: 5 November 2019