Diseases in wildlife have been recognised as having the potential to affect human health, livestock health and species conservation. In order to assess and respond to these potential risks in an effective and a proportionate way, the UK Government initiated development of the Wildlife Health Strategy to provide a framework for decision making. The England Wildlife Health Strategy (EWHS) has been developed through extensive consultation. Discussions and negotiations with government departments, agencies, non-governmental public bodies and wildlife organisations were held to obtain advice and input on specific and specialised aspects of wildlife health. A series of workshops to investigate the application of innovative science to wildlife health policy contributed further. A formal public consultation was held that proposed a range of actions to implement the strategy. A summary of responses to this consultation was published in October 2007. The EWHS was published in June 2009 and provides a framework for a generic four-stage approach to wildlife health that can be adopted by decision makers both within and outside government.
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