The first panzootic of Rinderpest in West Africa which occurred between 1885 and 1890, led to the deaths of over 90% of the cattle population. The second wave of the panzootic occurred between 1913 and 1914 and culminated in a further drastic reduction of the cattle population from 9.01million to 2.7 million. The devastating effects of these outbreaks were responsible for the establishment of Veterinary services by the colonial powers in the protectorate colonies in Africa.

A Veterinary Department was established in Zaria in the West African protectorate in 1913, to conduct livestock census, disease surveys, and disease control by isolation and quarantine, with the help of village heads and the Native Authority Administration. In 1924, the Department was moved to Vom, as a Veterinary Laboratory. In the same year, the first biological (anti-rinderpest serum) was produced to control the rinderpest outbreaks. Vom thus became the Pioneer Institute in West Africa in the production of anti Rinderpest Serum and Animal Vaccines.

The Institute is endowed with highly trained manpower with experienced research Scientist in varied fields of Veterinary Sciences and other fields of Applied Sciences and a number of Medical Laboratory and Animal Husbandry Scientists. Research for the development of new vaccines or other methods of disease control to combat emerging diseases of livestock and poultry and improving the vaccines in production is the Institute’s primary area of focus.

By virtue of the Agricultural Research Institute Decree 35 of 1975, the name Federal Department of Veterinary Research was changed to National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) and has its Mandate as follows: To conduct Research into all aspects of animal diseases, their Treatment and Control. To Develop and Produce animal Vaccines, Sera and Biological to meet the National demand To provide Surveillance and Diagnosis of animal diseases To introduce Exotic Stock for improved egg, meat and milk production To provide Extension Services to poultry and livestock farmers To Train intermediate Manpower in Veterinary Laboratory Technology and Animal Health and Production Technology. OUR VISION A Veterinary Institute committed to research excellence and the production of standard quality vaccines for the livestock industry.

To be the foremost veterinary research institute in Africa, producing international quality vaccines and offering services for the identification, control, and eradication of economically important livestock diseases, through best practices, research excellence, and applying modern technology, with highly trained, experienced and motivated personnel.

To be a pioneer Veterinary Institution committed to research excellence and the production of quality vaccines for the livestock Industry.

The Institute’s organizational structure is based on 5 Technical Divisions and 2 non-Technical Divisions. Technical Divisions include:

  • Research
  • Production
  • Diagnostic Services and Extension
  • Livestock Investigation
  • Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Quality Control
  • Non technical Divisions include Administration and Finance and Supplies Divisions

I.  Research
Development of animal vaccines
Development of diagnostic reagents
Development of ethnoveterinary products
Establishment of well-equipped laboratories
Scientific publications

II.  Vaccine Production
Production of 19 different vaccines
100 million doses of vaccines produced annually
A potential for the production of 400 million doses by 2015

III.  Disease Diagnosis and Surveillance
Provision of vaccines
Sustained rapid disease diagnosis and surveillance services
Capacity building in laboratory diagnosis, animal health and production technology
Provision of livestock extension services
Production and airing of radio programmes
Vocational training programmes

IV.  Other Achievements include
FAO collaboration and recognition of NVRI as a regional centre for Emergency Preparedness for transboundary animal disease
First African laboratory to diagnose Highly pathogenic avian influenza
Selection of NVRI as a regional laboratory for avian influenza and other transboundary animal diseases


  • Mareks disease vaccine
  • Foot and Mouth Disease Vaccine
  • Combined Newcastle Disease and Gumboro vaccine
  • Inactivated Cell Culture Rabies Vaccine
  • Freeze dried Anthrax Vaccine
  • Egg drop syndrome Vaccine