Risk Assessment Division

Risk Assessment Division

The Risk Assessment Division (RAD) was established at the Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences of the Estonian University of Life Sciences in 2015. The Division is tasked with providing independent scientific expert advice in areas that affect food and feed safety as well as animal health and welfare.

RAD organises and coordinates risk assessment activities and the provision of independent expert advice for the Ministry of Rural Affairs and its subordinate units on matters concerning feed and food safety, animal health and welfare, as well as farm animal breeding.



RAD is comprised of a steering group, sectoral expert groups on animal health, animal welfare, and food safety, a project manager, and a chief specialist.  

The steering group is responsible for developing the strategy and operational principles for the Division. It is composed of a project manager and the heads of the sectoral expert groups.

Expert groups produce risk assessments, provide expert opinions and interpretations of specialist terms. Each group has a designated leader. Experts from various research institutions are involved to guarantee the highest quality of scientific advice.

Risk assessment is based on the available scientific evidence, and is undertaken in an independent, objective and transparent manner.


Subject areas covered by the expert groups:


Expert Group on Animal Health and Welfare
  • Animal disease risk profiles and risk assessments
  • Feeds and feeding practices
  • Animal welfare
  • Experiments on farm animals
  • Housing, handling, transport and slaughter of farm animals
  • Different breeding programmes
  • Genetic resources
Expert Group on Food Safety
  • Chemical food safety (incl. food additives and contaminants)
  • Biological food safety (incl. food microbiology, parasitology, and pathogens)
  • Food technology and processing
  • Nutrition, specialty foods, novel foods, allergens
  • Food-contact materials and objects
  • Genetically modified food