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Wildlife disease surveillance

If you have found a mass mortality of wildlife (more than three dead animals together), nervous disease in wildlife or unusual deaths in wildlife, please contact the WEG veterinary lead or your nearest Veterinary Investigation Centre.

Please note: if you suspect a notifiable disease you must contact APHA immediately.

APHA Diseases of Wildlife Scheme (APHA DoWS)

The APHA DoWS has delivered national surveillance for wildlife disease in England and Wales to government since 1998.

The Scheme examines vertebrate wild species for all disease and mortality investigations, including infectious and non-infectious disease. In 2009, surveillance for vertebrate (apart from cetaceans) wildlife disease in GB became the responsibility of the Great Britain Wildlife Disease Surveillance Partnership, under the Chair of the APHA DoWS.

The GB Wildlife Disease Surveillance Partnership involves:

Wildlife Expert Group (WEG) veterinary lead

WEG veterinary lead - Paul DuffThe WEG veterinary lead is Paul Duff (03000 600012).

Paul Duff has been the WEG veterinary lead since 1998 and Chair of the Great Britain Wildlife Disease Surveillance Partnership since 2009.

He leads the Defra-funded wildlife disease scanning surveillance project in APHA, and is a former Chairperson of the European Wildlife Disease Association, former Council member of the Wildlife Disease Association and APHA representative for wildlife disease related matters in the HAIRS (Human Animal Infections and Risk Surveillance) Group.

WEG surveillance reports

WEG contributes interesting and unusual wildlife cases, highlights wildlife disease alerts or findings and provides focus articles relating to wildlife for the APHA Veterinary Record monthly disease surveillance report. These are compiled together with contributions from other Species Expert Groups.

Quarterly GB Wildlife Disease Surveillance and Emerging Threats reports are compiled by WEG. They summarise investigations into threats and other surveillance issues to inform government and wildlife stakeholders of new or emerging threats to wildlife health.

Recent Interesting Cases

GB wildlife disease quarterly report: disease surveillance and emerging threats – January - March 2019

  • Summary of hare deaths investigated in 2018-2019
  • Erinaceous coronavirus in hedgehogs
  • Finch leg lesions

GB wildlife disease quarterly report: disease surveillance and emerging threats – October-December 2018

  • No highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) isolated this Autumn,  the last case was in April 2018,  in a Eurasian buzzard (Buteo buteo) found in Suffolk
  • Two Serotine bats (Eptesicus serotinus) from Dorset were positive for EBLV 1 representing the first time this strain of EBLV has been detected in the UK
  • The first cases of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease-2 (RHDV-2) involving three European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) were confirmed in Dorset and Essex.

Disease Information

Information notes and alerts on specific diseases or conditions: