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The functional plant substances working group represents the subjects of applied botany, pharmacognosy and phytotherapy with regard to veterinary medicine. Plants with biologically active secondary substances are the focus of interest.

The topics covered range from the characterization, cultivation and breeding of medicinal, spice and aromatic plants to the quality of herbal drugs, the use of phytogenic feed additives in animal husbandry, phytotherapy and poisonous plants.

At the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, the working group has a molecular-biology laboratory, chemical-analytical laboratory, an experimental station with three greenhouses and a pharmacobotanical show garden.