The role of the farm veterinarian is defined in Articles 3 and 4 of the Decree of the Ministry of Health of December 7, 2017 (hereinafter referred to as “MD”) on epidemio-surveillance networks, tasks, responsibilities and professional requirements of farm veterinarians (Official Journal No. 29 of February 5, 2018). A farm veterinarian is a private veterinarian voluntarily appointed by the food business operator raising food-producing animals (hereinafter referred to as “operator”) with a view to increasing the farm health and production status.

The farm veterinarian shall perform his/her functions based on a formal relationship with the operator, resulting from the signing by both sides of the appointment sheet set out in Annex 3 of the MD. The farm veterinarian shall operate as the consultant of the operator, monitoring the farm on a continuous basis and therefore being aware of the farm health and production status at all times.

At the same time, the farm veterinarian shall facilitate the relationship between the operator and the competent health services, inserting the farm-related information collected by the operator under self-control into the epidemio-surveillance system managed by the Ministry of Health, after checking truthfulness, solidity and adequacy. 

This process allows an early detection of risks on farms, promoting the protection of animal health and welfare and, more generally, of public health. 

In fact, the data provided by the operator thanks to the farm veterinarian shall be used by the competent Authority only to categorize the risk level of the farm and not to detect any non-compliances. Therefore, such data are not comparable to the results of an official check, and shall be regarded as a tool for strengthening the self-control system and for the farm risk self-assessment.

In case of any critical issues, the farm veterinarian shall recommend suitable corrective measures to the operator, indicating the timeframe for their implementation and ensuring appropriate traceability.

Data shall be collected by compiling the checklists available in the section on the website.

The operator shall be entitled to appoint only veterinarians registered in a dedicated national list kept by the National Federation of Italian Veterinarians (FNOVI). FNOVI, in turn, shall check fulfillment of the requirements. The farm veterinarian appointed may coincide with the veterinarian already employed by the operator or working within the relevant supply chain or within the association to which the operator belongs, provided that such veterinarian meets the requirements laid down in the MD. Any conflict of interest shall be declared and managed.

Training for farm veterinarians

Article 3, paragraph 2, point b) of Ministerial Decree of December 7, 2017 refers to specific training as one of the essential requirements of farm veterinarians. Therefore, all aspiring farm veterinarians shall attend a specific ECM training course according to the content and minimum duration set out in Annex 2 of the above-mentioned MD.

A national public list of veterinarians who meet the criteria and requirements laid down in the MD is available at FNOVI.


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Data di pubblicazione: 2 maggio 2019, ultimo aggiornamento 2 maggio 2019

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