Exotic animal diseases communications strategy: August 2022

This communications strategy is for use in the event of a disease outbreak, whether a major outbreak with widespread disease, or a more limited incident.

2. Strategic objectives

2.1 To control and eradicate an exotic animal disease, it is vital that communications are fully integrated into the response from the suspicion phase through to confirmation of disease, disease control and finally disease eradication and a return to normal conditions. Only by getting the right mix of communication channels operating at the right time and fully coordinated with wider government, operational partners and stakeholders, will the Scottish Government be able to lead Scotland's response to disease incursion anywhere within Great Britain (GB). The Scottish Government's main communication objectives are to:

  • coordinate disease response communication activities with and between operational partners and disease control stakeholders
  • ensure the right information is targeted and available to all responders when they require it
  • supply operational partners and, where appropriate, other stakeholders, with the pertinent facts and figures before this information enters the public domain
  • maintain a close working relationship with all GB administrations, regardless of where disease incursion takes place in GB (links will also be maintained with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in Northern Ireland)
  • utilise the right mix of communication channels in order to maximise coverage of information to all target groups and individuals, and ensure there are no gaps in the information cascade
  • maintain a close working relationship with the media to avoid misleading and contradictory information reaching the public domain
  • ensure all information is accurate before it reaches external audiences, and ensure all stakeholders are aware of the message sign-off procedure before they put any information into the public domain (via social media for example)
  • maintain a close working relationship with industry, to both convey Scottish Government policy and to assist in disseminating key information to industry grass roots.


Email: Animal.Health@gov.scot

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