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Contingency Plans

Animal health and welfare policy is fully devolved to the Scottish Parliament.  Scottish Ministers are responsible for the policy response to any exotic notifiable animal disease.

The United Kingdom Contingency plan provides an overview of the response to an outbreak of exotic notifiable animal disease in the UK.  The plan highlights the way the different Administrations within the UK work together to provide a rapid and effective response and contains details on the structures, roles and responsibilities that are activated during an outbreak.

United Kingdom Contingency Plan for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals

Scottish Government Exotic Diseases of Animals Contingency Framework Plan

The lead role in any disease outbreak in Scotland will be taken by the Scottish Government, which will work in close partnership with stakeholders and operational partners.

The contingency framework plan sets out the Scottish Government’s response to an exotic notifiable animal disease outbreak.  The plan has eight annexes covering diseases that pose a particular threat to Scotland’s economic wellbeing, including : African Swine Fever, Avian Influenza, Classical Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease, Newcastle Disease, African Horse Sickness, Equine Infectious Anaemia, Rabies and Swine Vesicular Disease.   The annexes contain information specific to these diseases and what would happen in response to an outbreak.

This updated version of the contingency framework plan has been revised to reflect organisational restructuring within the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).  APHA is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), working across Great Britain on behalf of Defra, Scottish Government and Welsh Government.

The contingency framework plan is also supported by a communications strategy, which sets out how stakeholder communications will operate during a disease outbreak.

The contingency framework plan, its annexes and the communications strategy are living documents.  They will be revised to take account of changes in policy, organisational structures and responsibilities and lessons learnt from exercises or disease outbreaks.

Scottish Government's Exotic Animal Disease Contingency Framework Plan

Annex 1: African and Classical Swine Fever
Annex 2: African Horse Sickness
Annex 3: Avian Diseases
Annex 4: Bluetongue Virus Disease
Annex 5: Equine Infectious Anaemia
Annex 6: Foot and Mouth Disease
Annex 7: Rabies
Annex 8: Swine Vesicular Disease
Annex 9: Lumpy Skin Disease

Scottish Government's Exotic Animal Disease Communication Strategy


Scottish Regional Resilience Partnerships’ Framework for Exotic Notifiable Animal Diseases Contingency Plans

Downloadable document [PDF, 1434.7 kb, 97 pages]

This plan follows agreement between all three Regional Resilience Partnerships’ (RRP) Animal Health Sub Groups to develop a single Scottish multi-agency operational animal disease framework plan.  It details a consistent command and control structure for responding to suspect and confirmed outbreaks of exotic notifiable animal diseases and provides a framework to facilitate joint training.

It provides a framework for each organisation to develop its own detailed operational response plan (and in some cases a generic operational plan that can be adapted by local authorities both for consistency/mutual aid, where officers can assist other authorities, and training/exercising).  It contains specific information on how and when operational partners should respond to a suspect or confirmed exotic notifiable animal disease outbreak.


Contingency Plans for Industry

It is in the interests of every livestock keeper to prepare themselves for the outbreak of disease and have a contingency plan in place that is regularly practised and reviewed. These plans are particularly important on premises with a high throughput, as farms that rely on a large number of regular animal transfers will be worst affected by a movement standstill. 

Beyond the obvious impacts on productivity and business, should disease be confirmed on your premises, it is likely that you would have to carry out thorough cleansing and disinfection on site as well as the treatment and disposal of organic wastes and wash water, at your own expense.  Delays in completion of thorough cleansing and disinfection can have implication for the UK regaining freedom from certain notifiable diseases.  It is, therefore, in the interests of every livestock keeper to have a contingency plan in place that is regularly practised and reviewed.  

A template contingency plan has been developed primarily for use by intensive agricultural units covered by the Pollution Prevention and Control (Scotland) Regulations. It provides both advice and a framework to help operators protect their business from the risks posed by notifiable animal disease. No operator is under any obligation to fill in this template, to fill in sections that they do not wish to. But any existing or new plans should also be discussed with operational partners such as the Animal and Plant Health Agency and The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to ensure their robustness.

Specifically the document is designed to:

  • inform you of the likely consequences of an outbreak of disease on your premises;

  • encourage you to improve biosecurity measures on your premises;

  • help you prepare your business for an outbreak on your premises, or the imposition of movement controls;

  • provide a single source of information to allow you and APHA to deal quickly and efficiently with an outbreak and return your unit to productivity as quickly as possible;

  • ensure you put in place measures to prevent pollution of the environment or harm to animal or human health, specifically encouraging you to think through potentially polluting actions and establish appropriate mitigation strategies.