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Working together on disease surveillance and animal welfare

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THE vital importance of veterinary surveillance and of collaboration at all levels was emphasised by the BVA President, Carl Padgett, in his speech to the Association's annual Scottish dinner in Edinburgh last week.

The emergence of Schmallenberg virus had, said Mr Padgett, been a stark reminder of the need for a robust surveillance network across the UK and Europe. While it was to be hoped that the virus would not travel as far north as Scotland, it was important to remember that there was still much that was not understood about the infection, and he urged farmers to remain vigilant and to ensure that vets were brought onto farms at the first sign of anything suspicious.

Carl Padgett (right), the BVA President, is joined by (from left) Robert Anderson, president of BVA's Scottish Branch, Sheila Voas, the acting CVO for Scotland and John Scott MSP for the BVA's annual Scottish dinner, held in the Scottish Parliament building on June 19

Another disease that highlighted the importance of surveillance was bleeding calf syndrome, which had first been brought to national attention by veterinary surgeons working with farming clients and local surveillance centres. ‘It is essential that this link between practitioners and diagnostics is not lost as policy work on the future of surveillance in Scotland is developed,’ Mr Padgett said.

He noted that, at the time of the annual dinner in Scotland last year, the outcome of the Kinnaird review of veterinary surveillance in Scotland was still awaited. ‘When it came in November we were pleased to see the recognition of the high quality of service provided by the SAC Disease Surveillance Centres, but we were concerned that the report left many questions unanswered.

‘Seven months on and many of those questions remain. But we are pleased that work is …

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