You are here: Defra > Animal Diseases > Disease controls

Disease controls

Contingency Plans for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals

Defra (England) Plan

In the event of an incident or outbreak of exotic disease, Defra has well-developed contingency plans for how we, our agencies and partners, and the farming community, respond. It covers arrangements for dealing with outbreaks and incidents of exotic disease of animals, including Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease.

Defra’s current contingency plan was laid before Parliament on 19 December 2012:

Recognising that measures to control disease can carry wide and costly consequences for the economy, public health, and the environment, our control strategy seeks to:

  • cause the least possible disruption to the food, farming and tourism industries, to visitors to the countryside, and to rural communities and the wider economy;
  • minimise the number of animals which need to be slaughtered, either to control the disease or on welfare grounds, and which keeps animal welfare problems to a minimum;
  • minimise damage to the environment and protects public health;
  • minimise the burden on taxpayers and the public at large.

The plan is produced for Defra by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. It is reviewed annually to meet the provisions of Section 14a of the Animal Health Act 1981 (as amended by section 18 of the Animal Health Act 2002). Reviews take into account lessons identified from exercises and incidents handled, together with responses to the public consultation.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland Contingency Plan

The GB and NI contingency plan provides an overview of the response to an outbreak of exotic notifiable disease at the UK level highlighting how the Administrations work together to provide a rapid and effective response. The GB and NI Plan should be read in conjunction with the plan for each part of the UK, which provide additional detail on each Administrations response arrangements and structures.

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland Contingency Plan for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals was published on 28 February 2012. This plan has been produced by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency on behalf of each Administration in the UK.

Disease control strategies

Further information

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.

Page last modified: 14 August 2014