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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
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Animal Health Program Overview

Veterinary Services Organization

APHIS Veterinary Services (VS) is organized into the VS Deputy Administrator’s Office (VSDA) and strategically focused business units: Field Operations, Strategy and Policy, and Diagnostics and Biologics.

APHIS works in a variety of ways to protect and improve the health, quality, and marketability of our nation's animals (including various wildlife), animal products, and veterinary biologics. This subject area describes many of the diseases facing animals today, as well the steps APHIS is taking to prevent, control, and eliminate those conditions.

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A Proposal to Standardize and Consolidate the APHIS Laboratory Approval Process:  Veterinary Services has drafted a concept paper that addresses APHIS approval of animal disease diagnostic laboratories. 

Veterinary Services has developed a Proposed National List of Reportable Animal Diseases and a draft plan for preparing and responding to emerging animal diseases. 

Business Plans: Veterinary Services has developed five-year business plans to outline the priorities, objectives, strategies, and field activities for cattle, avian, swine, aquaculture, sheep and goat, equine, and cervid health. 

The purpose of this Grants/Cooperative Agreement Guide is to outline the meaning, process, purpose and administrative guidance for applying for a Cooperative Agreement. The document will provide needed information on the main purpose of the agreements, the process by which cooperative agreements are approved, required documents and templates to be used when applying for and reporting on an approved agreement. 

Veterinary Services has developed a Framework for the Regulation of Genetically Engineered Animals and Insects Pursuant to the Animal Health Protection Act. This document explains the current regulatory posture for addressing the interstate and importation requirements of genetically engineered animals and insects which may be vectors of animal disease agents of concern. 

Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health: The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health (SACAH) advises the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture on matters of animal health and broader issues of public concern. SACAH membership will represent the greater agricultural community and include, for example, animal welfare advocates; local and commercial livestock producers; small and minority farmers; and State and Tribal animal health officials. SACAH will consider and make recommendations on collateral issues involving public health, conservation of natural resources, and the stability of livestock economies. 

Animal Disease Information: Veterinary Services protects and improves the health, quality, and marketability of our nation's animals, animal products and veterinary biologics by preventing, controlling and/or eliminating animal diseases, and monitoring and promoting animal health and productivity. 

Animal Health Surveillance: This section describes APHIS programs and activities that contribute to animal health surveillance in the United States. 

One Health (OH): One Health is a collaborative, multisectoral, and trans-disciplinary approach—working at the local, regional, national, and global levels—with the goal of achieving optimal health outcomes recognizing the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment. 

Laboratory Information and Services: APHIS provides a variety of laboratory services which are centered around providing or facilitating animal disease testing services. 

Veterinary Biologics:  Veterinary biologics include vaccines, antibodies, diagnostic kits, and certain immunomodulators. Learn how to license/import a biologic, report adverse events occurring from biologic use, or find lists of licensed products. 

Veterinarian Accreditation:  Veterinarians can go here to learn how to apply for accreditation as well as search for a variety of training materials.

Veterinary Services Applications Training and Resources

Veterinary Services provide responsive and quality information technology services, delivery, and training to VS and its stakeholders which protects and improves the health, quality, and marketability of our nation's animals, animal products and veterinary biologics.

Center for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH): CEAH helps APHIS strengthen animal health infrastructures both nationally and internationally through surveillance, monitoring, risk analysis, spatial epidemiology, and modeling.

Emerging Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Plan: The purpose of this plan is to provide strategic direction for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS) to detect and respond to emerging animal diseases and define the processes by which VS will identify, evaluate, and respond to emerging diseases in animal populations

Professional Development Training: Professional Development Services (PDS) is a small group of training specialists dedicated to meeting the current and future scientific and technical education and training needs of VS personnel. In addition to staff members housed at APHIS Headquarters in Riverdale, Maryland, PDS has Staff Veterinarians and Education Technology Specialists throughout the United States to ensure local, as well as national, needs are addressed.

Veterinary Services Data Standards:  A common set of data elements is necessary for any entity; Federal, State, or private, to effectively share information for the purposes of animal disease traceability and as an overall part of an integrated national surveillance strategy. Additionally, standards are required that allow for effective, error-free data exchange. To ensure congruency and to facilitate discussion and implementation of data-sharing requirements among States, Tribes, and industry stakeholders, VS, in collaboration with the National Assembly of State Animal Health Officials, is publishing data standards for specific program activities. The first set of published standards is for electronically generated Interstate Certificates of Veterinary Inspection.

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