The function of the Animal Health Unit is ensuring public health and animal health within the state. Staff from this division perform surveillance testing on poultry and livestock. They also assist farmers and pet owners with meeting requirements for the importation and exportation of animals to other states and countries. This section also assists state agencies with disaster preparedness involving the sheltering of animals and in the response to a disease outbreak that could threaten public health or animal health in Rhode Island. Animal Health plays a key role in rabies control within the state by coordinating all response agencies from the local to the state level.
To ensure the health of the livestock in Rhode Island and to ensure public health when consuming animal products, the Division of Agriculture's Animal Health staff conducts animal testing. Due to budgetary and staffing constraints, revisions have been made to the testing policy. Read the 2010 RI Division of Agriculture Animal Health Testing Policy.
If you have concerns about the condition of animals at pet stores ot the condition of the stores themselves, please contact us. Click Here for a list of concerns and information on who to contact.
The Animal Health Unit licenses privately run Animal Shelters physically located within the State of Rhode Island, as well as rescues and carriers which operate within its borders. Click here for an ordered list.
Veterinarians, livestock owners, pet owners and licensed facilities are required to report specific diseases and/or illnesses directly to the State Veterinarians office at (401) 222-2781. In the case of zoonotic diseases, you are required to contact the RI Department of Health at (401) 222-2577, immediately upon diagnosis. Click here for a list of reportable animal diseases in Rhode Island.