The BSAVA has established an “exciting and valuable partnership” with the University of Liverpool to ensure continued development of a national UK disease surveillance network for companion animals.

The BSAVA has established an “exciting and valuable partnership” with the University of Liverpool to ensure continued development of a national UK disease surveillance network for companion animals.

The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET) logo.The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network (SAVSNET), was established in 2008 by a team of veterinary scientists at the University of Liverpool to monitor the disease status of the UK small animal population (mainly dog, cat and rabbit).

When funding for the pilot project came to an end in August 2011, BSAVA believed that not only would the profession benefit from this valuable source of information, but that it is, in fact, vital for the successful management of disease in small animals.

Key aims of the project are:

  • To monitor disease trends in small animal pet populations over time and highlight appropriate interventions.
  • To identify small animal pet populations at risk and monitor treatments and outcomes.
  • To improve general public awareness of pet diseases and prevention.
  • To provide a system where vets in practice can compare their disease and management profile with those of their anonymised peers.
  • To open up the SAVSNET database through a transparent application process, to allow scientists to analyse the data, while maintaining high standards of data protection and anonymity.
  • To enrol a wider and more representative sample of veterinary practices from across the UK, so SAVSNET can fully capture geographic variation.

BSAVA president Andrew Ash.Dr Alan Radford — who leads the project at Liverpool and led the partnership plans with BSAVA — believes that, as a joint scheme, SAVSNET could radically transform the way we understand small animal diseases and positively influence the protocols of individual practices.

He said: “SAVSNET is an exciting initiative for our pet animals and promises to give new insights into important health and welfare problems.”

BSAVA president Andrew Ash said: “SAVSNET ticks all the boxes for BSAVA. High quality, large scale epidemiological research helps us fulfil our obligations as a charity to public good, the information on disease surveillance gives us the information to treat animals better, and the research papers help us inform veterinary policy and education. This is an important scheme for both animal and human health.”

The team at the University of Liverpool will now move forward with plans to roll the scheme out on a national scale and is looking forward to talking to interested parties about it at WSAVA / FECAVA / BSAVA World Congress in April 2012.

 

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