The AHVLA has launched a consultation on a new system of disease surveillance designed to provide better protection against new and emerging disease threats.

The AHVLA has launched a consultation on a new system of disease surveillance designed to provide better protection against new and emerging disease threats.

AHVLALaunched this week (December 12), the consultation is seeking views from vets, farmers and other interested groups on options for improving the veterinary scanning surveillance system in England and Wales by making it more effective and efficient.

The consultation is based on the recommendations of the Independent Surveillance Advisory Group, which identified ways the following ways of improving the surveillance system.

  1. Increase the geographical coverage of animal disease surveillance by offering an enhanced carcase collection service with a network of collection points to make the surveillance service more accessible to farmers.
  2. Improve the use of expertise and sources of data within the private sector by better integration of information and intelligence from private veterinary practices, universities and commercial laboratories.
  3. Reduce the number of surveillance sites to ensure remaining sites have access to a greater and wider range of cases.
  4. Make greater use of post mortems and testing by private vets and universities.

GibbensDEFRA’s chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said: “Our veterinary surveillance system has played a key role in helping us to quickly spot and react to emerging animal disease threats, but we are always looking at ways to further improve this system by making it both more effective and more efficient.

“The proposals we are asking for views on are based on recommendations by the Surveillance Advisory Group which suggested ways in which we can enhance the system by making better use of the skills and resources of the wider veterinary community and making it easier for farmers to access the surveillance services they need. This would help us create a better and more cost effective system to continue the excellent disease surveillance service AHVLA delivers.”

AHVLA will shortly be writing to key stakeholders, including key representatives from the veterinary profession and livestock farming industry, asking for views and comments.

Individual veterinarians and livestock keepers can participate either through attending one of a series of regional stakeholder meetings or through an online survey. (link “online survey” http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla/about-us/consultations/)

The consultation ends on February 15, 2013 and a summary of responses will be published on the AHVLA website. (link to AHVLA homepage).

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