Scottish regional resilience partnerships' framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases contingency plans

Information on how and when operational partners should respond to a suspect or confirmed exotic notifiable animal disease outbreak.

1. Introduction

1.1. Background

1.1.1. This plan follows agreement between all three Regional Resilience Partnerships' ( RRP) Animal Health Sub Groups to develop a single Scottish animal disease framework plan. It details a consistent command and control structure for responding to suspect and confirmed outbreaks of exotic notifiable animal diseases and provides a framework to facilitate joint training.

1.1.2. This is a multi-agency operational plan aimed at category 1 and category 2 responders as laid out in the Civil Contingency Act 2004 [1] . It does not detail the role of national (Scottish or UK) strategic command and control structures which are already explained in detail in both the Scottish Government's Exotic Diseases of Animals Contingency Plan [2] and the United Kingdom Contingency Plan for Exotic Notifiable Diseases of Animals.

1.2. Definition of an exotic notifiable animal disease

1.2.1. The term notifiable disease means there is a legal obligation to notify the relevant authority, in most cases the Animal and Plant Health Agency ( APHA), if a person suspects disease. These diseases are notifiable because of their potential, in most cases, for very serious and rapid spread. They can have serious socioeconomic or public health consequences and are of major importance to international trade of animals or animal products. Notifiable diseases are named in Section 88 of the Animal Health Act 1981 or an Order made under the Act. A full list of current notifiable diseases can be found at [3] The term exotic refers to a disease that is not currently present in the UK e.g. foot and mouth disease. Endemic diseases are those which are already present in the UK e.g. sheep scab.

1.2.2. A notifiable animal disease outbreak is included in the UK 2015 National Risk Register [4] because it is considered likely to have a significant impact. RRPs and Local Resilience Partnerships ( LRPs) are required to interpret the risks in the National Risk Register and the National Risk Assessment at a local level which forms part of the Community Risk Register. This plan outlines how multiple partners would respond to a notifiable animal disease outbreak. A map of RRP and LRP areas are attached at Appendix A.

1.2.3. The Scottish Government lead on responding to most suspect or confirmed notifiable animal disease outbreaks and APHA is the lead operational partner (note however, the NHS board is lead partner with respect to public health consequences of zoonotic disease). For information on how to respond to non-notifiable or endemic disease contact your regional APHA office [5] .

1.3. Aims and objectives

1.3.1. This plan provides specific information on how and when operational partners should respond to a suspect or confirmed exotic notifiable animal disease outbreak. The principal aims of this document are to:

  • ensure a timely, co-ordinated and consistent multi-agency response to an outbreak.
  • identify roles and responsibilities of appropriate organisations so these are understood in an outbreak.
  • act as a source of reference for those involved in response to an outbreak.
  • control any exotic notifiable animal disease outbreak and eradicate the disease at the earliest opportunity with minimal impact on members of the public.

1.3.2. The principal objectives of this document are to:

  • provide contingency information to local authorities, Police Scotland and other appropriate agencies to enable them to discharge their responsibilities.
  • provide a framework for each organisation to develop its own detailed operational response plan (and in some cases a generic operational plan that can be adapted by local authorities both for consistency/mutual aid, where officers can assist other authorities, and training/exercising).

1.4. Exercising and review of plan

1.4.1. This template document will be subjected to appropriate review and exercise and a record kept of such in Appendix C - Amendments and Exercise Record . As this is a national (Scottish) framework document it presents an opportunity to test it at a national level over and above regional/local exercises. The document in its draft form has already been tested at a national level during Exercise Cerberus, a national rabies exercise for operational partners in Scotland.

1.4.2. For suggestions and amendments to the template document please email:

Exotic Diseases branch, Animal Health and Welfare Division (P Spur)
Directorate for Agriculture Food and Rural Communities
Scottish Government
Saughton House,
Broomhouse Drive,
EH11 3XD

Tel +44(0)300 244 3338
Fax +44(0)300 244 9797

1.5. Glossary of terms

1.5.1. A glossary of terms used in this document is provided at Appendix D.

1.6. Appendices

1.6.1. Disease specific appendices have been provided which contain information about specific exotic notifiable diseases and details about the response that is required to control them along with relevant legislation. The disease specific appendices will be reviewed annually jointly by a working group established from membership of the 3 RRP Animal Health Sub Groups.



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