The FSVO is the Swiss federal centre of excellence for the fields of food safety, nutrition, animal health, animal welfare and species conservation in international trade.
Animal health, animal welfare, safe food and articles of daily use as well as healthy nutrition are among the primary responsibilities of the FSVO. As implementing authority of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) the FSVO also monitors cross-border traffic and trade in protected animals and plants. It also checks the imports of animals and animal products.
The Federal Constitution, laws, ordinances und treaties form the framework for the work of the FSVO for humans and animals. It is the function of the office to prepare this legislation. Responsibility for implementing and enforcing the laws lies with the cantons in many cases. Through active communication, information, training and continuing education, the FSVO supports the cantonal authorities and promotes consistent implementation in the cantons.
It is important for the FSVO to be prepared for new tasks and threats. It therefore sees itself as a partner of other national and international authorities and organizations, which have similar or related duties and objectives. As a public service, the FSVO is also committed to open and comprehensive communication on the basis of scientific facts. For this the office engages in applied research and supports research projects in in its field.
With the Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI), the FSVO also serves as the regulatory authority for the approval of vaccines and sera for animals and the Swiss reference laboratory for the diagnosis, monitoring and control of highly infectious animal diseases.