Disease surveillance: are you aware of the services available in your area?

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Amelia Findon

Following changes to the disease surveillance network in England and Wales, I wanted to collate some useful information from the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) highlighting what's available to you in your area. 

Carcase collection service

APHA surveillance map (1.8MB PDF)
APHA surveillance map

All areas in England and Wales are now within a 1-hour drive of an APHA Veterinary Investigation Centre/Partner Post-Mortem Examination provider site, or have access to a free carcase collection service.

This follows the extension of the free carcase collection service at the beginning of the year, and the recent appointment of a carcase collection provider in the North East of England.

A map of the scanning surveillance network (1.8 MB PDF) across England and Wales can be found on the APHA Vet Gateway. You can identify local post-mortem (PM) examination centres or the availability of carcase collection services by entering the farmer’s postcode into the Vet Gateway postcode search tool.

Once you have identified the correct centre, you should call them on the number provided to discuss the eligibility of the case before submission. Eligible cases are heavily subsidised by APHA and do not incur additional fees for routine diagnostic tests. APHA has also recently reduced the cost of bovine PMs.

APHA has emphasised to BVA that vets in practice are also welcome to call to discuss cases, unusual findings and results, or for general advice, even if they are not intending to submit samples.

Diagnostic laboratory testing

In addition to PMs, APHA undertakes diagnostic laboratory testing. Samples should be submitted to the APHA laboratory serving your area using APHA submission forms. APHA has produced several diagnostic support resources to assist vets in sample and test selection and sample packing.

APHA Vet Gateway

The APHA Vet Gateway has information on test prices and scanning surveillance reports, and from 30 April will also include new and refreshed content such as species-specific information, easy-to-navigate information on the diagnostic and PM services network and what to do when you want to submit samples or seek free, expert advice from a Veterinary Investigation Officer.

Update: Changes to the Vet Gateway have been put on hold for the pre-election period (21 April – 8 June 2017). Launch will be delayed until after the General Election.

Your feedback

If you have any comments on the surveillance network in your area, please let us know on the BVA community or email policy@bva.co.uk. More information on our work on surveillance can be found online. 

Written by Amelia Findon

BVA Head of Policy and Governance

Amelia joined BVA in 2008, originally in member services, before moving into policy and becoming Head of Policy and Governance in 2015. Amelia works with the team to ensure that the policy forming and representational structure is fit for purpose, proactive and strategic at a national and European level.