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Animal health, welfare and breeding

Ensuring animal health and welfare concerns all of us, because it influences health, food safety and food security. Outbreaks of animal diseases may also lead to major economic costs. Furthermore, livestock farming and breeding has an impact on biodiversity, climate change and other environmental issues.

In the field of animal welfare, health and breeding, the Ministry of Rural Affairs aims to ensure a healthy and protected animal as well as safe and orderly food, feed and living environment.

To reach this goal, the Ministry designs the area of Estonia’s feed safety, animal health, animal protection and welfare, as well as farm animal breeding, develops relevant legislation, development plans and national measures and organises their implementation. Furthermore, the Ministry develops subsidies for farm animal breeding and keeping an endangered breed, as well as participates in designing the European Union legislation and policy in this field.

Mees söötmas kitse. Allikas: Põllumajandusministeerium; autor: Tanel Tang


 Strategic documents


The activities of the Ministry and its area of government in animal protection, welfare, health, and breeding are coordinated by the Food Safety Department.

Authorities and agencies

  • The compliance with the applicable rules in the fields of veterinary, feed safety, animal protection and welfare, as well as farm animal breeding and national surveillance is managed by the Veterinary and Food Board (VFB).

    Website of the Veterinary and Food Board »

  • The registration of farm animals and the award of grants related to breeding, keeping endangered breeds of livestock and other farming of animals is performed by the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB).

    Website of the Agricultural Registers and Information Board »

  • The collection, processing, and analysing the data on the farm animal parentage and performance and the independent national milk quality control are ensured by the Animal Recording Centre.

    Website of the Animal Recording Centre »

  • Studies on the diagnosis of animal diseases and analyses on testing the safety and quality of raw food, water and feeds are performed by the Veterinary and Food Laboratory.

    Website of the Veterinary and Food Laboratory »



Last updated: 4 September 2015