United Kingdom: improved approach to surveillance for animal disease threats

Monday 9 December 2013 (4 years 2 months 12 days ago)

AHVLA has announced an improved approach to scanning surveillance to better detect new and re-emerging animal diseases and threats in England and Wales.

A new system will be introduced to improve both the geographical and species specific coverage of disease surveillance across England and Wales by making better use of the expertise and resources of private vets, universities and the livestock industry. This follows recommendations of the independent Surveillance Advisory Group to enhance the surveillance system.

The new system will place a greater emphasis on gathering intelligence from other sources of surveillance intelligence, and places less emphasis on post mortems carried out at government laboratories. For example, large numbers of post mortems are already carried out in the poultry sector and some private vets perform post mortems on-farm. Better coordination of these alternative sources of intelligence will provide a more comprehensive threat picture to be drawn than is presently the case.

AHVLA surveillance will continue to be carried out from seven post-mortem investigation centres spread across England and Wales at Bury St Edmunds, Carmarthen, Penrith, Shrewsbury, Starcross, Thirsk and until 2015, Winchester. Surveillance at seven other existing AHVLA sites will cease, but access to post-mortem investigation services will be enhanced by the greater involvement of other suppliers of animal pathology.

A carcase collection service will be introduced for a period of three years whilst the network of non-AHVLA pathology providers is established. This will collect carcasses from within the areas where AHVLA post-mortem facilities have been closed and are not initially covered by other providers. As now, livestock keepers will be responsible for transporting carcases to the collection point, with AHVLA funding the onward journey to a post-mortem facility. This service will ensure that surveillance information from these areas is not lost in the period whilst the new system is introduced.

The new model will be implemented progressively during 2014.

Wednesday December 4, 2013/ AHVLA- DEFRA/ United Kingdom.
http://www.defra.gov.uk

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