Development Law

The Legal Office provides legal advisory services to governments on land, water, fisheries, plants, animals, food, forestry, wildlife and national parks and environment and biodiversity, as well as general agricultural issues (institutions, trade, economic reform). Current legal advisory projects include 70 countries from every region of the world.

Working with the technical services of FAO, it helps governments prepare laws, regulations, agreements and other legal texts, advises on institutional structures and compliance with international law. An element of most advisory projects is capacity building through participatory training of national officials and consultants.


The Development Law Service's legislative assistance projects relating to animals fall into three main categories: 1) animal health; 2) regulation of the veterinary profession; and 3) control of veterinary drugs. FAO has also assisted with other legislation falling under the broad heading of “veterinary matters.

Malawi has sought legal advice on the implementation of a livestock identification scheme, whereas in Jordan, FAO has been called upon to make legislative suggestions regarding empowering community animal health workers to carry out certain veterinary activities in the country. Nepal has received assistance in the preparation of legislation for the control of veterinary drugs, as has Rwanda. The Rwanda project also resulted in the preparation of draft basic laws on animal health and animal welfare and the exercise of the veterinary profession, as well as essential implementing regulations. A follow-up activity will provide legislation for the control of foods of animal origin.

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