Many of the diseases we are most concerned about are “notifiable” (that is, there are legal requirements on animal keepers). During an exotic disease outbreak our website will provide the latest situation – Defra takes the lead, with partners, in responding to the disease.
- 5 July 2011 – Great Britain declared free from Bluetongue
- 4 July 2011 – Updated Contingency Plan for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals
- 24 June 2011 – Qualitative assessment of the risk of introduction of Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA)
- 13 June 2011 – Bluetongue restrictions lifted
- 10 May 2011 – Global science network to protect against animal diseases
- 30 March 2011 – Publication of the reports of the epidemiological investigations and the lessons learned report (PDF 175 KB) following the two cases of Equine Infectious Anaemia in September 2010 EIA Northumberland Epidemiology Report (PDF 125 KB) and EIA DevonEpidemiology Report (PDF 130 KB)
- 25 March 2011 – Managing with fewer resources (PDF 25 KB)– Nigel Gibbens, the UK Chief Veterinary Officer, provides an overview of key current government activities in animal health and welfare
We are in the process of moving information into this new, dedicated area of our website covering animal diseases. In the meantime some pages may link to content or files which are still on our old site.
Vigilance and good stockmanship for all kept animals, including those kept as pets are vital in the fight against animal disease. Monitoring animals for signs of disease, and following good farming and biosecurity practices are essential ways of reducing the risk of disease and preventing the spread of disease during an outbreak.
Notifiable diseases, which if suspected are to be reported to your local office of the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), are in an A-Z table linking to information pages about the diseases.
Animal diseases to be notified to your local AHVLA can be “endemic” (those which are already present in the UK, such as Bovine TB), “exotic” (those that are not normally present in the UK, but can be introduced for example via illegal imports or by wild birds), and/or “zoonotic” (those that can pass between animals and humans, such as rabies).
Defra is required under EU law to operate disease control programmes for some diseases (eg Salmonella in poultry), and monitor trends for others, in order to minimise the risk to public health.
Key facts and figures
- There have been over 14 exotic disease outbreaks in the last 10 years including foot and mouth disease, bird flu and bluetongue.
- The costs of disease outbreaks range from £2 million (minor) to over £3 billion (major outbreak).