The Swiss Veterinary Service

The FSVO and the cantonal veterinary offices operate an agreed and structured system for working together on public veterinary issues. The Swiss Veterinary Service actively promotes the health and welfare of humans and animals. 

While responsibility in the Swiss Veterinary Service is spread over several levels, the responsible agencies in the Federal Government and cantons form a joint common organisation under the name of the "Swiss Veterinary Service". The SVS is designed to operate on a professional, transparent and scientific basis.
Nowadays, the quality assurance of food products of animal origin requires an integrated strategy that covers the whole production chain from stable to plate.
Such a strategy is based on an impeccable primary production system in which the modern veterinary service plays its part as the specialist agency for animal welfare and the health of animals and humans.

The role of the cantonal veterinary services

In most cases, federal law delegates responsibility for enforcing national legislation to the cantons. Accordingly, most of the functions of the Swiss Veterinary Service are also replicated in the cantons.

The role of Animal Health Services (AHS)

The Animal Health Services provide indirect support for the Veterinary Service in its enforcement activities. They are private self-help organisations (in French) with broadly the same aims as the Veterinary Service:

  • To preserve animal health
  • To promote appropriate animal husbandry
  • To ensure good-quality food products of animal origin

Performance of veterinary services

Veterinary services are complex organisations with a wide range of legislative, executive, human and material resources. It is therefore important to review and evaluate these resources and their interaction on a regular basis. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) provides a tool for evaluating the performance of veterinary services (PVS Tool). The PVS Tool is designed to assist veterinary services to establish their performance in various areas, to identify where they currently fall short of OIE international standards, to form a shared vision with stakeholders (including the private sector), and to establish sensible priorities and carry out strategic initiatives.

More Information

Last modification 16.11.2021

Top of page


VSKT contact

Reto Wyss, Dr. med. vet., Cantonal Veterinary, Bern

General Secretary:
Judith Röthlisberger, Dr. med. vet.

Office address:

Vereinigung der Schweizer Kantonstierärztinnen und Kantonstierärzte c/o Bundesamt für Lebensmittelsicherheit und Veterinärwesen
Schwarzenburgstrasse 155
3003 Bern


A list of addresses for the 22 veterinary offices and the Principality of Liechtenstein can be found under “More information”.

Print contact