Scottish govenment logoThe Scottish Government Veterinary Services Programme provides funding and support to SRUC Veterinary Services for livestock and wildlife disease surveillance, monitoring of antimicrobial resistance, investigation of new or novel disease outbreaks, animal health planning and promotion of good farm animal welfare practices. Improving animal health and welfare is important as it increases the competitiveness and sustainability of Scotland’s agricultural sector.
Animal disease surveillance is a statutory requirement and is provided by SRUC Veterinary Services through the collection of data from diagnostic samples and carcasses submitted to the Veterinary and Analytical Laboratory and the network of Disease Surveillance Centres. The information collected by SRUC Veterinary Services on disease and disease trends in Scotland is also added to data from APHA laboratories and approved contractors in England and Wales to provide the picture for Great Britain that can be accessed through the disease surveillance dashboards.

SRUC Veterinary Services publish monthly and quarterly reports, where you can find updates on the disease surveillance work that we carry out for the Scottish Government.

Livestock and wildlife disease surveillance

The health and disease status of Scottish farmed livestock is monitored through the Scottish Government Veterinary Services Programme. This enables changes in animal disease status to be detected quickly and information disseminated effectively to a range of stakeholders using multiple media platforms from websites and social media, to scientific reports and newsletters.

This information is used by veterinary practitioners and livestock farmers to support the implementation of disease prevention measures across Scotland. This ensures a proactive approach to biosecurity, health and welfare in Scottish livestock; and all producers, irrespective of size of enterprise or geographical location continue to have access to the relevant advice and information.

Monitoring of both disease and suspect crime events in native wildlife species is also part of the Programme, recognising the importance of Scotland’s natural biodiversity.

Bee health

SRUC delivers education, training and knowledge transfer on behalf of the Scottish Government to meet the outcomes of the Honey Bee Health Strategy for Scotland. The main aim of this strategy is to achieve a sustainable and healthy population of Honey Bees. Promoting awareness of bee diseases and pests and providing general advice on good husbandry and management practices ensures healthy honey bee colonies.

The Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) is a species of hornet that is not native to the UK. It is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than other hornets or bees. However, Asian hornets do pose a risk to honey bees and pollinating insects. This is why beekeepers are keen to stop this insect establishing in the UK, and why you should report suspected sightings.

Visit Beebase - a beekeeping information resource for Beekeepers.

Wild bird disease surveillance

SRUC Veterinary Services carry out a significant number of post-mortem examinations of wild birds each year providing both disease surveillance information and supporting investigations into suspect crime. This includes pesticide poisoning cases where deliberate poisoning of raptors is suspected.

With domestic poultry at continuing risk of infection with Avian Influenza (AI) from wild birds, post-mortem examinations and sampling of target species forms part of the surveillance of the wild bird population.

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