The Estonian Veterinary and Food Laboratory (VFL) was founded in 1998 from the former State Veterinary Laboratory and regional Veterinary laboratories that used to be a part of the local Veterinary Centers. VFL reports directly to the Ministry of Rural Affairs
The Central Veterinary and Food Laboratory is situated in Tartu. In addition, three smaller laboratories in Tallinn, Rakvere and Saaremaa are part of the VFL. All these laboratories are accredited according to the EVS- EN ISO/IEC 17 025.
All laboratories analyze food, feed and water samples for microbiological and chemical parameters . The Central Veterinary and Food Laboratory in Tartu performs tests for diagnosis of bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases of animals.
Tartu VFL is specialised in the diagnosis of diseases in cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry, horse, fish and honeybees as well as the analyses of alcohol and contaminants (heavy metals). The laboratories in Rakvere, Saaremaa carry out more limited range of analyses. The Tallinn VFL also specializes in the analyses of veterinary drug residues.
VFL is responsible for priority statutory testing under various farm and wild animal disease surveillance and food safety control programs, also provides inspection authorities with relevant analytical support.
Along the statutory functions the VFL offers the laboratory service and advice to private veterinarians and farmers for diagnosis and control of bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases of animals and to food processing industry for food safety and quality control.
The VFL carries functions of the official control laboratory according to the Food and Feed Law and cooperates with all relevant competent authorities.
The VFL has been authorized to execute the function of the National Reference Laboratory in different fields of food and feed analyses and diagnostic of animal diseases.
Communication with European Union Reference Laboratories is also a responsibility of the VFL.