Mission and Tasks


The Institute of Veterinary Public Health (VPHI) is based on a strategic partnership between the University of Bern and the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO). This collaboration between academia and veterinary services shall contribute substantially towards animal health and food safety, thus improving public health in Switzerland.

The VPHI will cover undergraduate and graduate education, research and services on VPH-related topics for the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Bern, the FSVO and other partners. These tasks shall be performed in collaboration and coordination with all other VPH stakeholders.

Major tasks

  • Applied research in applied epidemiology, monitoring, surveillance, animal health economics and risk assessment, with focus on animal health and zoonoses.
  • Develop expertise in animal welfare that complements the portfolio of Swiss institutions already active in animal welfare research (such as the Centers for Proper Housing and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), and networking with other institutions active in this field.
  • Consulting graduate students and fellow researcher of the Vetsuisse faculty, Univ. Bern, on applied epidemiological and biostatistical topics.
  • Consulting of the veterinary service on applied epidemiological topics; specifically on the control of contagious animal diseases by generating the scientific basis for initiating, improving and evaluating disease control programs, on surveillance (development of methodologies) and on complex risk assessments.
  • Performing risk assessments on request by the Federal Veterinary Office.
  • Comprehensive education of veterinary undergraduate students in VPH including specific topics on animal welfare.
  • Postgraduate education of veterinarians and professionals of related disciplines in the area of VPH (vet. med. Dissertations, PhD, Post Doc).
  • Residency training of veterinarians to become Diplomates of the European College of Veterinary Public Health (ECVPH) in a rotation program between Vetsuisse faculty, Veterinary Services and external partners.
  • Support of the continuing education of public service veterinarians.
  • Participating in the scientific network of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), mainly on the topics animal health, animal welfare and zoonoses.