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Scanning surveillance and APHA’s diagnostic service

Scanning surveillance

Veterinary scanning surveillance enables early detection and investigation of new or re-emerging animal diseases, and helps us all to understand disease patterns and trends.

It relies on partnerships between APHA, APHA's partner post mortem providers, livestock keepers, private veterinary surgeons, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Veterinary Services, livestock industry organisations and academic institutions such as the vet schools.

The diagnostic service is the cornerstone of the scanning surveillance system. In England and Wales it is delivered by APHA’s network of Veterinary Investigation Centres, and partner providers of diagnostic services who are contracted by APHA to deliver post mortem examinations.  To find out more about scanning surveillance, please see Scanning surveillance – How is it delivered?

In Scotland, diagnostic disease surveillance is carried out by SRUC Veterinary Services, and the information and data generated are shared with APHA to give a GB-wide perspective.

Animal health surveillance is overseen by the UK Surveillance Forum (UKSF)which includes the Chief Veterinary Officers and policy representations from all four administrations. The UKSF has published a paper, UK approach to animal health surveillance, setting out the requirements needed for the surveillance of threats to animal health and to public health.

APHA’s diagnostic network

APHA has a network of six Veterinary Investigation Centres carrying out post mortem examinations in England and Wales. The network also includes APHA's specialist avian centre at Lasswade in Scotland and further research and diagnostic facilities at Newcastle, Sand Hutton (York), and at Weybridge in Surrey.

APHA’s network of post mortem services also includes Royal Veterinary College, University of Surrey, the Wales Veterinary Science Centre, University of Bristol, and SRUC Veterinary Services St Boswells.

Through these centres, APHA offers post mortem examinations and diagnostic testing, as well as advice and support, to veterinary surgeons in practice to diagnose, control and prevent disease in farm animals.

Many of the Veterinary Investigation Officers at the centres can also provide specialist advice. You don't have to send in a submission to access advice on how best to investigate and diagnose disease incidents – we are happy to support you and the information you provide us with is valuable for national disease surveillance. See further information on:

The information captured from your submissions contributes to identifying new or re-emerging threats to animal and public health. Findings from all the centres then feed into a variety of APHA publications such as monthly newsletters, the species quarterly reports and the surveillance report in the Veterinary Record. See the:

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