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 VFI in accordance with 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 execute 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 government of the Ministry of Agriculture, functions as a supervising body and sees to that that the requirements stipulated by the legislation that governs veterinary, food safety, market regulation, animal welfare and farm animal breeding are followed and executes supervision over 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 Feeding Stuffs Act and other legislation laid down pursuant to these acts.
The broader objective of VFB is to ensure the consumers the production of safe, healthy and quality raw materials for food and 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 genetic pool and profitability of keeping animals.
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;
- grant approval to enterprises involved in handling foodstuffs and persons who determine the quality classes of carcasses;
- check the safety of raw material for food and food when raw material for food and food are produced, during their preliminary processing, processing, transportation and wholesale;
- execute supervision over organic processing of raw material for food and food;
- organise laboratory analysis in order to diagnose infectious animal diseases and assess the properties of food, feedingstuffs, hay, straw, medicated feedingstuffs and drinking water;
- protect the environment from harmful factors that are the result of keeping animals or infectious animal diseases;
- issue activity licences for the provision of veterinary services;
- control the use of medicinal products and medicated feedingstuffs by veterinarians and animal-keepers manufacturing animal products;
- check animals, raw material for food and 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 animal breeding;
- organise preservation of genetic resources of farm animals;
- organise control procedures necessary for the implementation market regulation measures on milk and meat market.
In performing its tasks, 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.