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THE AHVLA plays a pivotal role in protecting Great Britain against the threat of animal diseases, including diseases affecting people, so its recently published science strategy* is clearly of interest. Covering the years 2012 to 2015, it is, in fact, the first such strategy to have been published since the AHVLA was created last year by merging the agency Animal Health with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency. Between them, these two Defra agencies played a vital role in safeguarding animal and public health, and one of the reasons for the merger, which combined the field expertise of Animal Health with the investigative and disease surveillance functions of the VLA, was ‘to improve the resilience of the combined agency to deliver a cost-effective service in the light of the Government's spending review’ (see VR, April 9, 2011, vol 168, p 366).
The science strategy must also be seen in the context of the AHVLA's recently …
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