About Us

The Sri Lanka Wildlife Health Centre (SLWHC) is an “inter-institutional coordinating centre”, established in 2011 through a Letter of Agreement among the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (FVMAS) of the University of Peradeniya, the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) of the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife and the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) of the Ministry of Rural Economic Affairs. In April 2013 the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine became the fourth partner in the SLWHC.

Signing of the Letter of Agreement establishing the Sri Lanka Wildlife Health Centre in 2011

Some of the major contributors to the establishment of the Sri Lanka Wildlife Health Centre, after signing of the Letter of Agreement



The SLWHC is governed by a Board of Management and its operational activities are conducted by a Director and Deputy Director (both part-time) and a Technical Committee comprising subject matter specialists nominated by the four participating institutes. It operates under the legal authority and mandate of the partner institutions.

A major stimulus to the establishment of the SLWHC was a collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC), which included a joint feasibility study by personnel from Sri Lanka and Canada, and wide-ranging discussions with all stakeholders. These activities enabled identification of the basic prerequisites for the establishment of a national program of wildlife health management, in which disease surveillance would play a central and key role.


Overall Objective:

To coordinate the operation of a National Wildlife Health Programme (NWHP) in Sri Lanka, aimed at:

  1. Preventing, detecting and managing diseases in wild animals, and
  2. Reducing the risks of inter-species transmission of pathogens, including those that are communicable to humans and domesticated animals


Specific Objectives:

  1. Initiate and operate a program of surveillance for pathogens and diseases in wild vertebrates in Sri Lanka
  2. Work with responsible government institutions/departments and others to:
  3. Develop approaches toward prevention of new wildlife disease problems
  4. Develop mechanisms to evaluate the significance and importance of wildlife disease events and plan potential management responses
  5. Establish a communications program to link all participants in the SLWHC
  6. Serve responsible government agencies by helping them to deliver their programs with respect to wildlife health and disease, including provision of education and training to their personnel


Proposed Activities:

  1. Design a national surveillance plan for monitoring wildlife health
  2. stablish infrastructure and logistical support for the DWC, VICs, VRI and FVMAS to implement the national program:
    1. DWC: for field surveys, field necropsies, sample collection, short-term storage and transport, initial diagnostic tests
    2. VICs: for receiving, storage and processing of samples, initial diagnosis and reporting as applicable
    3. VRI and FVMAS: for receiving, storage, processing and more advanced diagnostic procedures from samples received; reporting of results and establishing a national database; inputs to the design and analysis of research and monitoring programs
  3. Provide training to:
    1. Officers of the DWC and other stakeholders in necropsy, gross pathology, basic diagnostic procedures, collection, storage and transport of samples for the surveillance programme
    2. Veterinarians and technicians at VICs in receiving, storage and initial processing of samples for disease surveillance
    3. Veterinary Research Officers, Veterinary Surgeons and technicians at VRI, and academic staff and technicians at the Faculty in diagnosis and reporting of wildlife diseases
  4. Engage and inform Government Departments and NGOs on:
    1. Surveillance and reporting of deaths in wildlife
    2. Outcome of investigations
  5. Strengthen and expand the Wildlife Health Division of the DWC to enhance capability in implementing the above program


Expected Outputs:

  1. A national programme of surveillance and management of wildlife diseases sustainable by Sri Lanka with internal resources
  2. Contingency and management plans for responding to wildlife disease epidemics
  3. Upgrading of existing diagnostic facilities at regional centres of the DWC, regional VICs, VRI and FVMAS
  4. Human resource development of the DWC, DAPH and FVMAS to develop capability to implement the national policy and programme
  5. A national policy on wildlife health, management and conservation
  6. Capacity to meet international standards and obligations of the OIE and WTO