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International Animal Disease Monitoring

by 5m Editor
23 October 2003, at 12:00am

UK - Defra today launched a new web-site which provides reports on new outbreaks of major diseases in trading partners and their potential risk to UK livestock farming.

International Animal Disease Monitoring - UK - Defra today launched a new web-site which provides reports on new outbreaks of major diseases in trading partners and their potential risk to UK livestock farming.

Information received from Veterinary administrations, the European Commission, the OIE (world organisation for animal health), and the network of UK Embassies and High Commissions around the world is continuously assessed to provide an early warning of increasing threats to the UK and allow for rapid action on mitigating the risk of a disease introduction.

Chief Veterinary Officer Jim Scudamore welcomed the project, saying the UK was interested in any intelligence on worldwide animal diseases which would give Defra an early warning of disease risks, or trends.

"We will be looking closely at potential changes in the levels of threat to the UK livestock population and are particularly interested in outbreaks of exotic diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease and Classical Swine Fever in EU member states, countries on the borders of the EU and third country trading partners.

"But we will also generally monitor the disease situation worldwide with a view to identifying incursions of these diseases to new areas of the world or longer term trends in levels worldwide" he added.

Once a disease outbreak is reported, Defra will place this information on its website together with information about the action taken to control disease and prevent its international spread.

In the event of a significant increase in disease risk, Ministers would want to consider the need for heightened awareness including a possible return to the 20-day movement standstill regime from the present six-day policy.

Further Notes

  1. The development of the International Disease Surveillance project comes on top of stricter rules at ports and airports to prevent illegal imports from entering the UK. The Government has produced an Annual Review of Controls on Imports of Animal products April 2002 - March 2003 which concentrates on the action being taken against illegal imports.
  2. The qualitative risk assessments of new outbreaks will be put on the Defra website (http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/default.htm) and people can also e-mail Defra at ahweb@gsi.gov.uk
  3. The launch of the project represents an enhanced system of disease monitoring and surveillance comes on the back of the current quarterly reports of disease supplied by Defra to the Veterinary Record.
Source: Defra - 22nd October 2003

5m Editor