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I HAVE been interested in the letters on changing the veterinary surveillance structure in England and Wales, starting with the letter from Vic Simpson (VR, December 22/29, 2012, vol 171, p 651).
There was active and passive (scanning) surveillance of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), especially of swill feeders, in 2001 but affected pigs were first found at an abattoir 284 miles from the farm where the disease had established. Animal keepers range between hypochondriacs and mute fatalists. Seeking veterinary involvement is partly a commercial decision for many. In my experience, the number of porcine submissions to the veterinary investigation centre used to correlate with the financial health of the pig industry. The veterinary surgeon's invoice, plus AHVLA charges and difficult access, impede surveillance. The current approach may focus the AHVLA onto important problems but, even when the service was free, the submission rate varied widely between different practices.
Scanning surveillance may not …
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