The Veterinary Environmental Platform

The mission of the Veterinary Environmental Platform is to federate and coordinate activities including:
- Services,
- Scientific and technical support,
- Applied research and development,
- Evaluation of infectious and chemical risks for the health of ecosystems.
This structure gathers, on a single site, on the one hand facilities and equipment and on the other hand the expertise based on multidisciplinary skills (biology, ecology, epidemiology, infectiology, toxicology, pharmacology) and a network of specialists.
Such a structure with veterinary specificity is unique in the western part of France, relying mainly on two scientific centres, the Wildlife and Ecosystem Veterinary Centre and the Environmental and poison-control Centre of the West.

A triple objective

  • Assessing infectious and chemical risks for the health of ecosystems (eco-pathology and eco-toxicology)
  • Acquiring knowledge in the biology and pathology:
  1. of European wild fauna so as to improve medical care to vertebrates,
  2. of the domestic bee so as to improve the diagnosis of morbidity and mortality,
  • Furthering knowledge in food, environmental and animal clinical toxicology as regards direct risks for wild and domestic animals (vertebrates and invertebrates), indirect risks for the environment or food-borne hazards for Man, with the creation of a computerized database.

This range of services is intended for European and national evaluation agencies, public and private research laboratories, pharmaceutical and phytopharmaceutical industries, territorial communities, veterinarians etc.

The Ecosystem and Wildlife Veterinary Centre

The Wildlife Care Centre was created in 1985 by veterinary students who were keen on ornithology. Since then it has continued to evolve thanks to veterinary teachers-cum-researchers, the Ministry of Agriculture, and private and public partners. Its main objective remains animal care, and stemming from this, it aims to perpetuate education and to encourage scientific studies concerning European wildlife and ecosystems.

Care and safeguard activities

The centre takes in and cares for wild animals in distress with the aim of rehabilitating them in their natural environment. The animals (87% birds, 12% mammals, 1% reptiles/amphibians) mainly come from Brittany and the Pays-de-la- Loire Region.
A few dozen animals were collected in the first few years (18 in 1985) but now the centre takes in hundreds of animals (up to 1500 a year over the last ten years).

The centre not only takes in animals on a daily basis suffering from physical trauma (road accidents, electrocution, hunting-related injuries) but also animals suffering from a wide range of other problems, from chemical and biological poisonings (caused by pesticides, hydrocarbons, botulinic toxins etc.) through affections linked to the presence of pathogenic agents (bacteria, viruses, parasites) and birds which have fallen out of their nests. A 55% rehabilitation rate is the average.
The centre plays a part in the aftermath of ecological disasters such as oil spills (11,000 birds were rescued after the Erika disaster and 350 after the Prestige one). It has a key role in the treatment of outbreaks of botulism in the wetlands of the area (the Grand Lieu Lake and the marshlands of Goulaine).
The centre takes in animals all year round.

Pedagogical activities

In addition to the teaching to students and the continuing education of veterinarians, pedagogical activities aimed at school children are promoted and organized at the centre. Similarly, public awareness to wildlife is raised thanks to conferences or when animals are brought into the centre. Numerous 2nd and 3rd cycle students are also trained each year.

Scientific studies

The scientific objectives of the studies at the Centre are:

  • The acquisition of biological and pathological knowledge so as to improve the medical and surgical care to in-patients,
  • The assessment of the state of ecosystems through studies on sentinel species (mammals: hedgehogs. Birds: birds of prey, waterfowl. Domestic bees).

More generally, the Centre is involved in veterinary environmental problem situations (“veterinary ecology” including eco-toxicology and eco-pathology).

Research : the European honey bee as a sentinel species for pollution

The European honey bee (apis mellifera) as a sentinel for environmental pollution and ecopathological monitoring of hives: study on a transect landscape in the Pays de la Loire region

This study is financed by:

  • The European Union, via FranceAgrimer
  • The Conseil Régional des Pays de la Loire
  • Nantes Métropole
  • Conseil Général de Loire Atlantique
  • Pullman through Bee My Friend

Read more


Responsable : Olivier Lambert (olivier.lambert(at)
Telephone : (+33)2 40 68 77 76 ; email : faunesauvage(at)


The Environmental and Animal Poison-control Centre of the West (CAPAE-OUEST)

The center provides information on environmental and animal toxicology, answering all questions about toxic risks affecting wild and domestic animals, the natural environment and the consumer of animal products.

The on-line service

The Centre answers round-the-clock, all year long to any emergency or enquiry made by phone, by post or via e-mail. The service is provided by toxicology and pharmacology teachers, veterinarians and specially trained final-year students.
The centre deals mainly with veterinarians (practitioners, administration, food-processing and pharmaceutical industries etc.) but it is also contacted by pet owners, human poison-control centres, communities, agricultural organisms and other professionals (industries, pharmacists, etc.).
The calls originate from all over the country and more particularly from the western part of France which is the main French livestock breeding area. The Centre is therefore close to the breeders and well aware of the local and regional issues.
A wide range of substances are involved which may represent a hazard for domestic animals and the environment: pesticides, drugs, plants, household products, venomous animals, industrial pollutants, livestock effluents etc.

An ever-growing database

Each call is recorded and a detailed data-sheet is filled in. One of the missions of the Centre is to create a computerized database in order to update and improve the knowledge in clinical and environmental toxicology. The Centre aims to be a source of documentation open to all.

A pedagogical role

In addition to the basic training of students, the Centre participates in the training of veterinarians, farmers, public health organisms (such as the fire and ambulance services) and other professionals. It has also a role of information towards the general public so as to make people aware of the chemical risks and their prevention.
These actions are based on:

  • Publications in scientific or veterinary magazines, as well as in the agricultural or general press,
  • Participation in scientific or professional events about food, environmental and animal toxicology.

The Centre can also, on request, carry out detailed bibliographical studies about any topic within its range of action.


Responsable : Pr. Martine Kammerer (kammerer(at)
Telephone : 02 40 68 77 40
email : capaeouest(at)