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The Norwegian Veterinary Institute (NVI) was established in 1891 as the Veterinarypathological laboratory. Its founder and leader through 27 years, dr. med. Ole Olsen Malm later became the first director of NVI.

The National Veterinary Institute was established in 1891 as a laboratory for diagnosing animal diseases. Diseases in aquatic animals have been a part of the activities of the institute for more than 40 years. Since 1995 food safety has been a core activity at the institute.

In 1990 the regional laboratories became a part of the National Veterinary Institute. The institute now consists of a main laboratory in Oslo, and regional laboratories in Sandnes, Bergen, Trondheim, Harstad and Tromsø.

The institute changed its english name in 2011, to the Norwegian Veterinary Institute