The Veterinary Services Administration (ASV) was created in 1976.
Its tasks are defined in the Law of 14 July 2015 pertaining to its organisation.
It is active in the field of animal health, animal welfare and the identification and registration of animals under the aegis of the Minister responsible for Agriculture.
As far as checks on products of animal origin and public health tasks are concerned, it acts under the powers of the Minister responsible for health.
Within the limits laid down by the laws and regulations, the Veterinary Services Administration has the following tasks:
- carrying out analytical checks of animal health and veterinary public health;
- carrying out checks on animal health and for the protection and welfare of animals;
- carrying out hygiene and health checks on foodstuffs of animal origin and products made using such foodstuffs;
- carrying out checks on imports from third countries and the transit of animals and products of animal origin from third countries;
- taking the measures provided for by the laws and regulations.
The historical beginning of the Veterinary Services Administration (ASV) was the Royal Grand Ducal Order of 13 July 1818, which created an official health service with the appointment of an expert to deal with combating epizootics, diseases dramatically affecting a large number of animals.
Veterinarians in the service of the State were fee paid and they were allowed to have a private practice. They were responsible for visiting the livestock fairs and markets where they examined the state of health of the cattle. They were obliged to treat the sick animals of the poor without payment.
After 1840, the health service was gradually reorganised and on 6 July 1858 the number of government veterinarians was increased to eleven, one per administrative canton.
In 1922, the veterinary section of the Laboratory of Bacteriology was created in Luxembourg. Coming under the Ministry of Agriculture, its task was to detect livestock diseases.
During the German occupation in the Second World War, the health service was integrated into the department "I / Veterinärwesen der Zivilverwaltung" and managed by two German veterinarians.
In 1945, the government veterinarians were replaced by four veterinary inspectors, each responsible for one district. Their status as civil servants prevents them from practising private veterinary medicine.
The Law of 7 July 1958 established the General Veterinary Inspection Service, headed by a general veterinary inspector and four veterinary inspectors. The Laboratory is run by its own director.
The Veterinary Services Administration was created by the Law of 29 August 1976. It brought together, under the responsibility of a single director, the General Veterinary Inspectorate and the Laboratory of Veterinary Medicine.
The most recent reform of the Veterinary Services Administration was finalised by the Law of 14 July 2015, which defines the current structure of the Administration.
The Veterinary Services Administration (ASV) is placed under the authority of the Minister responsible for Agriculture as regards its tasks in the field of animal health, protection of animal welfare and the identification and registration of animals, and of the Minister responsible for Health as regards monitoring products of animal origin and public health missions.
The Veterinary Services Administration (ASV) is active in the field of animal health and animal welfare under the aegis of the Minister in charge of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection.
With respect to public health, it operates under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health.
The Veterinary Services Administration is composed of a Directorate and five Divisions.
The Administration employs 21 veterinary civil servants. It also works with veterinary surgeons in the field of epidemiological surveillance.
The Veterinary Services Administration is under the authority of a director. The Director is responsible for the management of the Administration. He is the hierarchical superior. He is assisted in the performance of his duties by heads of division. In case the Director is prevented from acting, he is replaced by the most senior head of division.
Animal Health and Welfare Edition
The Animal Health and Welfare Division is responsible for:
- trade and exports of live animals;
- monitoring and combating animal diseases including diseases transmissible from animals to humans;
- checking the identification of animals;
- monitoring animal welfare at stockbreeders and during transport;
- monitoring the welfare of domestic animals.
Public Health Division
The Public Health Division is responsible for:
- hygiene in approved and registered establishments during production, handling, processing and distribution of foodstuffs of animal origin;
- the proper state of maintenance of infrastructure and equipment;
- the state of hygiene of personnel and equipment;
- respect for hygiene and manufacturing procedures in the production, processing and distribution of foodstuffs of animal origin in slaughterhouses and cutting plants;
- monitoring hygiene of foodstuffs of animal origin in registered, authorised or approved establishments;
- application of HACCP plans and good practice guides respectively;
- quality management control in accordance with HACCP principles in registered, authorised or approved establishments dealing with foodstuffs of animal origin;
- monitoring the labelling of foodstuffs of animal origin as part of the general monitoring of establishments;
- monitoring intra-community trade in products of animal origin;
- monitoring residues and veterinary medicinal products in foodstuffs of animal origin.
Import Control Division
The Import Control Division carries out checks at the Findel Border Inspection Station (PIF) on:
- all products of animal origin intended for human consumption;
- products of animal origin not intended for human consumption transported at ambient temperature (NHC-NT);
- products of animal origin not intended for human consumption chilled and packaged (NHC-T (CH));
- all categories of live animals (ungulates, registered equidae and others).
A veterinary official is responsible for carrying out the checks provided for by European legislation. More than 95% of the products and animals that are checked at Findel Airport are destined for other EU countries or are in transit to other third countries.
The PIF veterinary official is also responsible for issuing CITES * (Management Authority) permits and certificates for fauna.
* CITES = Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna
Division of the Laboratory of Veterinary Medicine
The activities of the laboratory:
- detection of contagious diseases subject to mandatory reporting;
- detection of pathogenic germs;
- bacteriological detection of foodstuffs;
- disinfection of stalls in the event of a contagious disease subject to mandatory reporting;
- analyses not carried out in the Laboratory may be subcontracted.
The laboratory has been accredited by the Luxembourg Accreditation and Surveillance Office (OLAS) since March 2005 and intervenes in animal health through its involvement in epidemiological surveillance, research into animal diseases, TSE and emerging diseases.
The Animal Identification and Registration Division:
- registers and manages holders of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats and their herds in a computerised database;
- monitors the distribution of means of identification for those animals;
- issues identification documents for cattle;
- records the movements communicated by the various actors of the sector.