The Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) was an executive agency of the UK government's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It carried out animal disease surveillance, diagnostic services and veterinary scientific research for government and commercial organisations. It was based in New Haw, though had offices and laboratories around the country, such as in Sutton Bonington.

It was both an International Reference Laboratory and the EU Community Reference Laboratory for avian influenza.


1894 - The Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) is established in a small basement room in Whitehall, London to deal with a swine fever epidemic.
1917 - The Laboratory moves to its current location in Weybridge. The site is still known as Weybridge today, although the postal address is now Addlestone.[1]

Merger with Animal Health

On 29 June 2010 DEFRA announced that the VLA would be merged with Animal Health.[2] The merger was completed on 1 April 2011, forming the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency.[3]


  1. ^ History of VLA, archived from the original on 14 January 2011, retrieved 19 December 2010
  2. ^ Announcement of Animal Health and VLA merger on DEFRA website, archived from the original on 5 December 2010, retrieved 19 December 2010
  3. ^ "About us". Defra. Archived from the original on 19 April 2012.