The Department functions as the policy adviser to the Government on all animal health, safety and wholesomeness of food of animal origin for human consumption and Pest Control Services. It is involved in the prevention, control and eradication of transboundary animal diseases and pests to ensure healthy national herds and flocks of livestock and improve the economic well being of the livestock farmers. The Department therefore has overall responsibility of formulating policy on animal health, pest control services as well as safety of foods of animal origin in the country. These will be achieved through:
- Building a strong herd-health that will guarantee increased productivity and output of all species of livestock in Nigeria;
- Guaranteeing the provision of wholesome food of animal origin to meet local demands and for export;
- Ensuring optimum utilization of the ecosystem for livestock production with nominal damage;
- Carrying out effective surveillance on animal diseases and develop early warning early reaction system.
- Encouraging private sector participation in all aspects of animal health services including marketing;
- Developing manpower and vocational skills for all stakeholders in the Animal Health sub-sector; and
- Effective control and management vectors of animal diseases and transboundary animal pests.
- Ensuring that Animal Health Systems is founded on good governance enabled by the appropriate legislation and the necessary means to enforce it.
- Establishment of a network covering the whole country based on a tripod composed of official Veterinarians, Private Veterinarians and Animal producers which ensure effective surveillance.
- Ensuring early detection of an outbreak to enable a rapid response to potentially serious health events.
- Facilitating the provision of Bio-Security and Bio-Containment measures for infected farms to prevent pathogens from spreading and enable them to be eliminated.
- Ensuring rapid and fair financial compensation measures for producers whose animals have had to be culled due to health reasons.
- Provision of vaccination for healthy animals whenever appropriate.
- Ensuring good initial training and continuing education for all professionals.
- Ensuring continuous applied research on control methods since pathogens are constantly adapting.
- Strengthening and expansion of Veterinary Public Health Services to cover Meat Inspection Services, Milk Hygiene, Public Health Education, Environmental Hygiene and Laboratory Services to ensure the consumption of quality and safe Animals and Animal products.