The Scottish Government has comprehensive contingency planning arrangements in place for responding to exotic animal disease incursion.
Each outbreak or incident of exotic notifiable disease of animals requires effective communication; whether that is between government and those dealing with the disease or with stakeholders, farmers and animal keepers, the public and the media. Accurate and timely updates on the latest situation are essential in helping reduce the impact and spread of disease.
Every disease outbreak will present some variation in scenario and response meaning that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to communications is unsuitable. Also, in the event that an outbreak crosses one or more border, communications will need to be co-ordinated across the other affected administrations. Setting out the roles and responsibilities of the organisations and agencies involved will help ensure gaps in communication are minimised and communications are kept clear and consistent.
This Communications Strategy sets out the objectives for the communications aspects of a disease control response. It details the responsibilities of those involved in the disease response, from suspicion of disease through to its eradication, and their relationships and describes communication activities at the GB, national1 and local level. Planning is also considered as it helps to ensure a comprehensive communications response can be delivered in the event of a disease outbreak and that all those involved or affected are included in that process.