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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, November 2017

Statistics from

Current and emerging issues

Livestock population density maps

The latest reports showing livestock population density maps for sheep, goats, cattle, poultry and pigs in Great Britain were published by APHA’s Livestock Demographic Data Groups (LDDGs) on 13 November 2017. The reports are available at

Each report states how the maps were created, what data sources were used and what limitations there are in understanding and using the maps.

APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • GB livestock population density maps published

  • Fasciolosis in sheep

  • Porcine circovirus 2-associated disease

  • Suspect notifiable disease in backyard birds

The LDDGs are multidisciplinary collaborative groups, and membership of each includes an epidemiologist, data science and geospatial expertise and support from the relevant Species Expert Group Veterinary Lead ( from the APHA Surveillance Intelligence Unit.

The aim of the LDDGs is to enhance understanding of livestock demographics and associated data in Great Britain. The need to better understand our livestock populations, their movements and behaviours was identified as a lesson learned from previous foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks and was raised to the Veterinary Risk Group.1

The work is funded by Defra, Scottish Government and Welsh Government.

Highlights from the scanning surveillance network


Thromboembolism of the caudal vena cava in dairy cattle

Several diagnoses of thromboembolism have been made at APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs) and the University of Bristol. This condition can occur in heifers and older dairy cows, and accounts for significant losses in the affected herds.

In one dairy herd investigated at Shrewsbury VIC a total of nine deaths occurred after the herd was expanded by the purchase of 40 heifers. A three-and-a-half-year-old Holstein Friesian cow was submitted for postmortem examination; the five previous casualties were all newly calved heifers. The animal was healthy when milked in the morning, but was dyspnoeic and had a nasal exudate when brought in for milking in the afternoon. It was later found recumbent and died in the early evening.

Postmortem examination confirmed a chronic focal hepatic …

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