Overview of Emergency Preparedness Welcome to the Department of develop a fever

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Overview of Emergency Preparedness Welcome to the Department of  develop a fever Powered By Docstoc
					9 April 2010

ADC&TB     Animal Disease Control and Trade Branch
AFBI       Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
AHWIs      Animal Health and Welfare Inspectors
AHWD       Animal Health and Welfare Division
AI         Avian Influenza
APHIS      Animal and Public Health Information System
ASF        African Swine Fever
BT         Bluetongue
BTV        Bluetongue Virus
C&D        Cleansing and Disinfection
CEDCC      Central Epizootic Disease Control Centre
CPED       Contingency Planning for Epizootic Disease
CSB        Corporate Services Branch
CSF        Classical Swine Fever
CVO        Chief Veterinary Officer
DAF        Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Food
DARD       Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
DED        Disease Eradication Director
DEFRA      Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
DHSSPS     Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety
DNA        Deoxyribonucleic acid
DOC        Delivery Out Centre
DOE        Department of Environment
DSSA       Departmental Senior Safety Advisor
DVO        Divisional Veterinary Office
DVO        Divisional Veterinary Officer
EIA        Equine Infectious Anaemia
EIAV       Equine Infectious Anaemia Virus
EU         European Union
EVA        Equine Viral Arteritis
FMD        Foot-and-Mouth Disease
FSA        Food Standards Agency
GB         Great Britain
H&S        Health and Safety
HPA        Health Protection Agency
HPAI       Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
HR         Human Resource
HSC        Health and Social Care
HSENI      Health & Safety Executive Northern Ireland
LEDCC      Local Epizootic Disease Control Centre
LPAI       Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza
MOU        Memorandum of Understanding

ND      Newcastle Disease
NDV     Newcastle Disease Virus
NI      Northern Ireland
NIDCC   Northern Ireland Disease Control Centre
NIEA    Northern Ireland Environment Agency
NIEF    Northern Ireland Expert Forum
NIFRS   Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service
PDNS    Porcine Dermatitis and Nephropathy Syndrome
PWMS    Post-Weaning Multi Systemic-Wasting Syndrome
PPE     Personal Protective Equipment
PSNI    Police Service of Northern Ireland
RA      Risk Assessment
SCV     Site Control Vehicle
SDG     Service Delivery Group
SEAC    Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee
SG      Strategy Group
SOC     Site Operations Coordinator
TSE     Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathys
UK      United Kingdom
VO      Veterinary Officer
VS      Veterinary Service
VSD     Veterinary Science Division
WN      West Nile
WNV     West Nile Virus

Glossary                                                                 1


     Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)                                        5
     Avian Influenza (AI)                                                6
     Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV)                                       7
     Classical Swine Fever (CSF)                                         8
     African Swine Fever (ASF)                                           9
     Rabies                                                              10
     Bluetongue (BT)                                                     11
     Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA)                                     12
     Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA)                                        12
     West Nile Virus (WNV)                                               13
     African Horse Sickness                                              14


     Animal Health and Emergency Response to Epizootic Animal Disease    14
     Human Resources (HR)                                                15
     Director of Contingency Planning for Epizootic Disease (CPED)       15
     Animal Health and Welfare Division (AHWD)                           16
     Food Farm and Environmental Policy Division                         16
     Policy and Economics Division                                       16
     Veterinary and Technical Resource                                   17
     Non-Government Veterinary Personnel                                 17
     Other Government Veterinary and Technical personnel                 17
     Redeployment of Staff                                               17

     DARD staff (veterinary, technical and administrative staff)         18
     Veterinary Service Staff                                            18
     Veterinary Officers (VO)                                            18
     Technical Officers                                                  18
     DARD Animal Health and Service Delivery Group staff (SDG)           18


     Operational Instructions                                            18
     Contingency Contracts                                               19
     Equipment and stores                                                19
     Health and Safety                                                   19
     Public Health                                                       20

     Worker Protection against Zoonotic Diseases (e.g. Avian Influenza)     21
     Laboratory Capacity                                                    25
     Operational Partners                                                   26


     Veterinary Operations                                                  27
     Culling                                                                27
     Disposal                                                               28
     Rendering                                                              29
     Licensed Commercial Landfill                                           29
     Incineration                                                           30
     Pyre Burning                                                           30
     On-Farm burial                                                         30
     Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme                                      30
     Transport                                                              30
     Valuation                                                              30
     Emergency Vaccination Operations                                       31
     Information Management/Information Technology                          32
     Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS)                    32
     Firearms                                                               32
     Rural Issues                                                           32
     Biosecurity                                                            33
     Animal Welfare                                                         33

     Veterinary Service, Animal Health & Welfare, DARD, and its agencies,
     working exercising and responding to Outbreaks

     Exercises                                                              34
     Responding to Outbreaks of Disease                                     35

     Appendix 1 Map of Delivery Out Centres                                 36
     Appendix 2 List of Exercises                                           37

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)
1.1 FMD is a highly infectious viral disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals, in
    particular cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer. Other susceptible animals include
    camelids (camels, llamas, etcetera) and some wild animals such as coypu and
    zoo animals including elephants.

1.2 Fever is followed by the development of vesicles or blisters in the mouth or on
    the feet. There are 7 main types of virus, which produce similar clinical signs
    and which can only be differentiated in the laboratory.

1.3 FMD can be spread by direct or indirect contact with infected animals.
    Infected animals excrete the virus a few days before signs of the disease
    develop. Pigs in particular produce large numbers of virus particles. The
    disease is spread mechanically by the movement of animals, persons, vehicles
    and other things, which have been contaminated by the virus and airborne
    plumes. The prevailing meteorological conditions and local topography
    determine the distance that the disease can travel and this may be

1.4 Meat from the carcases of animals infected with FMD at the time of slaughter
    can transmit the virus. In the past, outbreaks of the disease have also been
    linked with the importation of infected meat and meat products.

1.5 Advice from the Department of Health states that it is very rare for humans to
    be affected by FMD. There has only been one recorded case of FMD in a
    human being in Great Britain, in 1966. The general effects of the disease in that
    case were similar to influenza with some blisters. The Food Standards Agency
    has advised that the disease has no implications for the human food chain.

1.6 The FMD virus can be destroyed by heat, low humidity, or certain disinfectants,
    but it may remain active for a varying time in a suitable medium such as the
    frozen or chilled carcase of an infected animal and on contaminated objects.

1.7 Good biosecurity is required to stop onward spread.

1.8 Prompt detection and reporting of the initial outbreak of disease are crucial in
    limiting the scale of an outbreak.

1.9 Further information for the control of an outbreak of FMD can be viewed online

Avian Influenza (AI)
1.10 AI is a highly infectious viral disease affecting most species of birds, the severity
     of which depends upon the strain and subtype of virus and the type of bird

1.11 Highly pathogenic AI (HPAI) viruses have the potential to cause severe disease
     in poultry, associated with a high death rate (up to 100%); the course of such
     disease can be so rapid that birds may die without showing signs of disease.

1.12 Infection with low pathogenic AI (LPAI) viruses usually results in milder, less
     significant disease. However, some LPAI viruses can mutate into highly
     pathogenic strains and severe disease may be seen with concurrent infection.

1.13 It is possible for some species of birds, such as wildfowl, to be infected with AI
     viruses and show only mild or no signs of disease, acting as a potential source
     of infection to other birds. Migratory wildfowl are considered as one of a number
     of risk factors for the spread of disease.

1.14 European Union (EU) legislation for the control and eradication of AI applies to
     both HPAI and LPAI viruses of subtypes H5 and H7. Flocks infected with LPAI
     would be assessed but it is likely that such flocks would be cullinged.

1.15 Controls would apply to domestic fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea fowls,
     quails, pigeons (reared for meat), ratites (e.g. ostriches), game birds and any
     other poultry reared or kept in captivity for breeding, the production of meat or
     eggs for consumption or eggs for restocking supplies of game.

1.16 It is possible that AI can be introduced to domestic poultry through contact with
     infective migrating wild birds, particularly water fowl. Such contact may be direct
     through mingling or indirect through contamination of feed, water, utensils or
     clothing, particularly with faeces. There is also a risk of introduction from the
     illegal import of live birds or bird products.

1.17 The AI virus has been shown to be infectious to humans and other animals. In
     rare cases, some HPAI strains have led to severe disease and deaths in people
     where infection has resulted from close contact with infected birds. There are a
     limited number of reported cases of person to person spread of AI, but no
     evidence of sustained transmission between people. AI viruses can exchange
     genetic material with human influenza viruses in humans or susceptible animals
     to emerge as new viruses which may be capable of being spread easily
     between people. This is what makes AI a potential threat to public safety. The
     global human population may have little or no immunity to a new influenza virus
     that significantly differs from recent or existing strains of human influenza
     viruses. So any outbreak of AI must be controlled quickly and workers and

     veterinarians in close contact with infected birds must be well protected. This
     contingency plan is in place to ensure this can be achieved.

1.18 Further information for the control of an outbreak of AI can be viewed online at:

Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV)
1.19 NDV is a highly infectious disease affecting poultry and other birds. Disease is
     caused by infection with virulent strains of NDV. There are a variety of strains of
     NDV, which range in virulence. Low virulence strains may cause sub clinical or
     mild respiratory disease. Highly virulent strains can cause severe disease
     characterised by high death rates and a range of clinical signs. Control is
     targeted at high pathogenic strains which have the ability to cause severe

1.20 The severity of the disease varies depending upon the species, degree of
     immunity and age of bird, environmental conditions and general health status of
     the flock.

1.21 Controls would apply to domestic fowls, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea fowls,
     quails, pigeons, ratites (e.g. ostriches), game birds and any other poultry reared
     or kept in captivity for breeding, the production of meat or eggs for consumption
     or eggs for restocking supplies of game.

1.22 t is possible that NDV can be introduced to domestic poultry by contact with
     infective wild birds, particularly wild pigeons, or indirectly through contaminated
     feed or objects. NDV can be carried on objects or clothing contaminated with
     excretions, particularly faeces, from infective birds. Such material could be
     imported on clothing or shoes of people that had been in contact with infective

1.23 Illegal imports of live birds also pose a risk of introduction but this is difficult to

1.24 Good biosecurity reduces the risk of onward spread.

1.25 The ND virus has been shown to be infectious to humans and other animals,
     although severe disease has only been observed in birds. In humans infection
     occasionally results in mild disease characterised by conjunctivitis. The majority
     of human cases have occurred in laboratory workers or people handling live
     vaccines. NDV does not pose a significant risk to public health.

1.26 Further information for the control of an outbreak of NDV can be viewed online

Classical Swine Fever (CSF)

1.27 CSF is a highly contagious viral disease affecting pigs. Infected animals suffer
     a variety of clinical signs including loss of appetite, purple discolouration of the
     skin, and constipation followed by diarrhoea. More severe cases may result in
     abortion or weak litters, as well as nervous signs such as tremors or
     convulsions, particularly in newborn piglets and can result in mortality of
     affected animals.

1.28 The movement of infected pigs is a common method of spreading CSF. All
     excretions from an infected animal contain the virus. Therefore any animal,
     human, or object which has been in contact with such excretions and then
     comes into contact with a pig, can spread the disease. Although other animals
     are able to mechanically spread the disease through contact with infected
     excretions it is not possible for them to display clinical signs of CSF. A main
     source of its spread appears to be from pigs eating infected pork or pork
     products. In this form the CSF virus can remain active for many months.

1.29 When the virus first enters a herd it can spread very rapidly; a high proportion
     of the pigs may become ill with a high fever, and many of them may die. The
     effects of CSF are very similar to another serious notifiable disease of pigs,
     African Swine Fever (ASF), which is an unrelated virus. The diseases can only
     be differentiated by laboratory tests. Recently, less virulent forms of CSF have
     occurred which are harder to recognise. Another complication in diagnosing
     CSF is the emergence of two new pig diseases, Post-Weaning Multi Systemic-
     Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) and Porcine Dermatitis and Nephropathy
     Syndrome (PDNS). PDNS can easily be confused with CSF and ASF.

1.30 A potential route for the introduction of Swine Fever into the United Kingdom is
     through the illegal import of infective porcine meat products leading to the
     subsequent infection of pigs by ingestion. There is also a risk of disease
     introduction from the illegal import of infective live pigs, however the level of risk
     is difficult to quantify.

1.31 Direct contact with infected pigs up to one month after infection and the
     ingestion of waste food containing uncooked pig meat or pig meat products are
     the main ways in which infection spreads.

1.32 Because CSF cannot be distinguished from ASF by either clinical or post
     mortem examination, all suspected cases of swine fever must be confirmed by
     laboratory testing.

1.33 Advice from the Department of Health is that humans are unlikely to be affected
     by CSF. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has advised that the disease has
     no implications for the human food chain.

African Swine Fever (ASF)

1.34 ASF, also known as African pig disease or warthog disease, is a highly
     infectious viral disease of pigs. It is caused by a large DNA virus and some
     strains can cause severe disease and high mortality.

1.35 The clinical signs are indistinguishable from those seen in classical swine fever
     (hog cholera) and vary with virus strain.

1.36 Disease caused by ASF virus can vary in severity, being either acute, sub
     acute or chronic. In parts of Africa where the disease is endemic wild pigs and
     hogs can be infected without showing signs of disease. However, infection of
     domestic pigs with virulent strains of the virus may result in very high death

1.37 Acute disease is characterised by a period of fever, which is followed by a
     range of clinical signs such as: blotchy skin lesions, depression, weakness,
     vomiting, diarrhoea, nasal and ocular discharges, coughing, breathing
     difficulties, rapid pulse rate, and reluctance to move. Groups of affected pigs
     may huddle together and pregnant sows may abort.

1.38 Sub acute disease is characterised by fever that may persist for up to 2-3
     weeks and less intense clinical signs such as depression, lethargy and abortion
     in pregnant sows. The mortality rates from sub acute disease vary and may be
     less than 5%. Animals that recover and their meat products can be infectious
     for several weeks.

1.39 Chronic disease is characterised by weight loss, intermittent fever, skin ulcers,
     arthritis, swelling over joints and respiratory signs. Mortality due to chronic
     disease is low.

1.40 The severity and distribution of lesions vary with virus strain. Haemorrhages
     occur in the lymph nodes, heart and kidneys; haemorrhages in other organs are
     variable in incidence and distribution.

1.41 On the grounds of clinical signs and post mortem findings the disease and it‟s
     pathology may be confused with classical swine fever. However, CSF virus and

     ASF virus are in different taxonomical families. Laboratory tests differentiate
     between the two diseases and immunity to CSF does not confer immunity to
     ASF or vice versa.

1.42 ASF can be spread by direct contact, ingestion of contaminated porcine meat
     products and by specific tick vectors. The virus is present in all secretions and
     excretions during the acute period of infection. Pigs are usually infected by
     nuzzling, although primary infection may sometimes occur through the lower
     respiratory tract. At present there are not any significant numbers of specific
     tick vector species in the UK. Therefore the current risk of spread by this route
     in the UK is negligible.

1.43 A potential route for the introduction of swine fever to the United Kingdom is
     through the illegal import of infective porcine meat products leading to the
     subsequent infection of pigs by ingestion. There is also a risk of disease
     introduction from the illegal import of infective live pigs but the level of risk is
     difficult to quantify. It is also possible for infective ticks to introduce disease to
     the UK.

1.44 Direct contact with infected pigs up to one month after infection and the
     ingestion of waste food containing uncooked pig meat or pig meat products are
     the main ways by which infection spreads.

1.45 Because ASF cannot be distinguished from CSF by either clinical or post-
     mortem examination all suspected cases of swine fever must be confirmed by
     laboratory examination.

1.46 Advice from the Department of Health is that humans are unlikely to be affected
     by ASF. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has advised that the disease has
     no implications for the human food chain.

1.47 Rabies is a viral disease which affects humans and all mammals, including
     cats, dogs, wildlife and farm animals.

1.48 The disease is absent from land mammals in the UK but has been detected at
     a low prevalence in certain species of bats in GB. It is invariably fatal once
     signs of the disease have appeared. Infection is almost always spread by the
     bite of an infected animal because the virus is present in the saliva.

1.49 After infection it may take several months for the disease to develop. At first,
     affected animals show changes in their behaviour. They may appear anxious or
     irritable, or wild animals may seem unnaturally friendly and approach people.
     As the disease progresses they begin to drool saliva, may become excited and
     aggressive, may attack people or other animals, and may have convulsions.

1.50 Finally they become paralysed and die, usually within days of the first signs of
     illness. Some species of bats may carry certain strains of the virus without
     developing disease themselves immediately, but can still on very rare
     occasions spread it to other animals.

1.51 The principal objective of control, should there be an outbreak of terrestrial
     mammal rabies in GB, will be to control and eradicate the disease in order to
     protect public and animal health and to re-establish national freedom from
     terrestrial mammal rabies according to the Animal Health Code of the OIE
     (World Animal Heath Organisation). This will be done by:

        The identification and laboratory confirmation of cases of rabies.
        Determining the genotype and epidemiological characteristics of the virus.
        Tracing the origin of infection.
        Identification of human beings and contact animals at risk.
        Control of contact animals including the humane destruction of high risk
        Limiting spread of disease by declaring infected places and infected areas,
         thereby controlling the movements of domestic animals and reducing the
         opportunity for potentially infected animals having contact with susceptible
        Reducing the numbers of susceptible animals in an Infected Area by the
         removal of strays, vaccination of domestic animals and, if required, the

Bluetongue (BT)
1.52 Bluetongue (BT) is a severe and highly infectious disease mainly affecting
     sheep and cattle, although most ruminants are susceptible to a variable degree.
     Globally it is one of the most economically important diseases of livestock. It
     occurred in the UK for the first time in September 2007, after infected midges
     from Northern Europe reached East Anglia.

1.53 The disease is caused by a virus which is transmitted by certain species of
     biting midges (adult female Culicoides). Bluetongue virus (BTV) can also infect
     all other species of domestic and wild ruminants but does not usually cause
     disease in them. Therefore, some ruminants which appear to be healthy can
     act as reservoirs (carry high levels of the virus and provide a source of further
     infection in sheep).

1.54 The virus does not affect people.

1.55 The severity of the disease depends upon the virus strain as well as the
     species and breed of infected host. Some live vaccines (originally developed in
     South Africa for use in local breeds of sheep) can cause severe disease in
     European breeds.

1.56 The disease occurs only where the adult vector midges are abundant and

1.57 Further information on bluetongue can be viewed online at:

Equine Infectious Anaemia (EIA)

1.58 EIA or "swamp fever" is a viral disease of horses, mules and donkeys causing
     intermittent fever, anaemia, emaciation and death. It can be transmitted by
     mechanical transfer of blood by biting insects and occurs typically in low-lying
     swampy areas.

1.59 The disease is caused by infection with equine infectious anaemia virus (EIAV),
     a type of lentivirus. Animals may be acutely, chronically or sub clinically
     affected. The incubation period is variable, from a matter of days to a few
     months but generally from 1 to 3 weeks. Antibodies usually develop 7 to 14
     days after infection and last for life. There is currently no cure or vaccine
     available to prevent infection by EIAV.

1.60 EIA does not cause disease in humans.

1.61 EIA is transmitted from infected to uninfected horses through transfer of
     infected blood or blood products. This may occur via insect vectors such as
     biting flies (including horse and stable flies) and mosquitoes, transplacentally
     from infected mares to their unborn/newborn foals or through use of
     contaminated medical instruments, administration of infected blood products
     and the use of unauthorised veterinary medicinal products. Infection between
     mare and foal may also occur through infected colostrums or milk or through fly
     bites. Inhalation of aerosolised infected material has recently been suggested
     as a potential mode of transmission in special circumstances.

1.62 Further information on Equine Infectious Anaemia can be viewed online at:

Equine Viral Arteritis
1.63 Equine viral arteritis (EVA) is a contagious disease caused by the equine
     arteritis virus (EVA). The virus occurs worldwide including mainland Europe.

1.64 The variety and severity of clinical signs of EVA vary widely. Infection may be
     obvious or there may be no signs at all. Even when there are no signs,
     infection can still be transmitted and stallions might still become shedders.

1.65 EVA can cause abortions. Other signs include fever, depression, lethargy, still
     movement, runny nose, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), swelling of the lower parts of
     the legs, around the eye and of the reproductive organs

1.66 Infection spreads through transmission of the virus between horses in 4 main

        venereal infection of mares by stallions during mating
        artificially inseminating mares with semen from infectious stallions
        contact with aborted foetuses and other products of parturition
        direct contact with droplets (eg from coughing and snorting) from the
         respiratory tract

1.67 There is no risk to human health or species other than equidae.

West Nile Virus (WNV)
1.68 WNV is a viral infection of birds, horses and humans, spread by the bite of
     infected mosquitoes that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or
     meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

1.69 WNV can be transmitted to humans and animals via the bite of an infected
     mosquito. A mosquito becomes infected by biting wild birds that carry the virus.
     The infection is a zoonosis, i.e. a disease the causative agent of which can be
     transmitted between animals and humans. In the case of WNV, the virus is
     transmitted between birds and man, though a wide range of other animal
     species can also become infected.

1.70 The horse seems the most susceptible to infection with but most cases are sub-
     clinical with the horse showing no obvious signs of disease but becoming
     seropositive (i.e. positive to the blood test for antibodies to the virus). Affected
     animals develop a fever and often encephalitis with nervous signs. Whilst birds
     are the main carrier and most remain apparently unaffected, some species are
     susceptible to disease - especially corvids (crow family). Mass die-offs can
     occur in these species.

1.71 Poultry can be infected and have been used in the USA as "sentinels" to detect
     infection in areas thought to be at risk. They do not usually develop disease.
     Although WNV is primarily an infection of birds, a range of other animal
     species, such as goats and sheep can be infected; however these species only
     develop low levels of virus.

1.72 Many infected people show no symptoms. When disease does become
     apparent, it is usually a flu-like illness with fever. There is currently no evidence
     that WNV can be spread directly from birds to people.

1.73 Control is based on the restriction of movement of suspected animals and their
     contacts combined with clinical observation.

African Horse Sickness
1.74 African horse sickness is a severe and highly infectious disease affecting
     horses, mules and donkeys. Other susceptible animals include zebras and
     elephants which may be infected without showing signs of disease.

1.75 The disease is caused by a virus which is transmitted by certain species of
     biting midges, most commonly Culicoides spp. The severity of the disease
     depends upon the virus strain as well as the species and breed of infected host.

1.76 The disease is not directly contagious between susceptible animals and does
     not affect people.

1.77 The spread of disease is influenced by climatic conditions which favour the
     spread of vectors, including warm, moist weather and high rainfall, as well as
     spread by wind dispersal.

1.78 Disease in horses and ponies is most severe, with clinical signs including fever,
     respiratory distress, coughing, copious nasal discharge, swelling of the head
     (particularly above the eyes), colic and sudden death.

1.79 Further information about the disease can be viewed online at:

DARD VS and Emergency Response to Epizootic Animal Disease
2.1 DARD Veterinary Service takes the operational lead in containing and
    controlling an outbreak of epizootic animal disease.

2.2 Disease control operations are centrally co-ordinated by the Northern Ireland
    Disease Control Centre. The strategic and tactical response is managed by the
    Central Epizootic Disease Control Centre (CEDCC) in Dundonald House whilst
    the operational response is managed at the Local Epizootic Disease Control
    Centre (LEDCC), which is based at Loughry College, Cookstown. Depending
    on the location of the outbreak incident, Delivery Out Centres (DOCs) may also
    be established. (A map showing their location is attached at Appendix 1)

2.3 The Generic Contingency Plan (which accompanies this document) sets out
    the structures and systems which have been put in place to co-ordinate the
    disease control operation together with the roles and responsibilities of those

2.4 This overview of emergency preparedness describes Veterinary Service‟s
    peacetime contingency planning function and its role in responding to an
    outbreak of animal disease. It also demonstrates the Department of
    Agriculture‟s and Veterinary Service‟s capability in managing outbreaks of
    different types of animal disease of varying size and scale.

2.5 DARD VS works closely with a variety of other agencies, organisations and
    operational partners such as other NI Government Departments, Local
    Councils, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the Northern
    Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) to ensure that any response is
    properly planned for and co-ordinated.

Human Resources
2.6 There are many individual roles which contribute to our preparedness to
    respond to an outbreak of epizootic animal disease. Strategic, Tactical and
    Operational Emergency Roles are explained in section 5 of the Contingency
    Plan for Epizootic Disease. The following describes the Department‟s
    peacetime functions, and the training which is provided to ensure that each
    individual concerned is able to carry out their duties effectively during an

Director of Contingency Planning for Epizootic Disease (CPED)
2.7 The CPED Director is responsible for ensuring that DARD has in place a
    contingency plan for epizootic disease which covers the arrangements for
    controlling and eradicating epizootic animal disease in Northern Ireland.

2.8 The Plan is continuously reviewed to reflect legislative changes, policy
    developments, scientific advances and advice or comments from Operational
    Partners. It is set within the framework of the EU requirements for contingency
    plans for specific diseases and of the Northern Ireland (NI) legislation under
    which government action is taken to control epizootic diseases

2.9 To ensure prioritisation for epizootic disease policy development the CPED
    Director holds regular meetings with Animal Disease Control and Trade Branch
    (ADC&TB) staff.

2.10 The CPED Director works with DARD staff to plan, organise and deliver
     desktop and real-time contingency exercises to test the plan. This ensures that

     DARD maintains a continuous state of emergency readiness and resilience in
     line with EU obligations and legislation.

2.11 The CPED Director also works with Operational Partners such as the
     Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS), the Police
     Service of Northern Ireland, (PSNI) and Local Councils, to establish effective
     networks, share best practice and to ensure that the contingency plans and
     processes are consistent and complement each other.

Animal Health and Welfare Division
2.12 During peace time staff from Animal Health and Welfare Division develop
     policies which promote the welfare of animals, allow for the eradication or
     considerable reduction in levels of animal disease which have significant
     economic or public health consequences.

2.13 During an outbreak they will, in conjunction with their Veterinary Service
     colleagues, provide policy advice on epizootic disease control and
     recommendations to DARD senior management and the Minister as
     necessary. This will be done via participation and membership of the Key
     Decision Making Team in the Central Epizootic Disease Control Centre
     (CEDCC). (See section 3.13 of the Contingency Plan for Epizootic Disease).

2.14 They are also responsible for liaison with appropriate stakeholders.

Food, Farm and Environmental Policy Division
2.15 During peace time Food, Farm and Environmental Policy Division develop and
     maintain policies for the farm and food sectors that will support the rural
     economy and promote sustainable environmental practices to meet
     Departmental business objectives.

2.16 During an outbreak they will in conjunction with their Veterinary Service
     colleagues provide policy advice and recommendations to DARD senior
     management and the Minister as necessary. This will be done via participation
     in the CEDCC. (see section 3.13 of the Contingency Plan for Epizootic

2.17 They are also responsible for liaison with appropriate stakeholders.

Policy and Economics Division
2.18 During Peacetime the Division exists to provide economics and statistics
     services, to conduct a rolling programme of policy review and development, to
     provide a policy lead on Common Agricultural Policy issues, research and
     education and to act as AFBI sponsor.

2.19 During an outbreak the remit of the Policy and Economics Division is to provide
     official statistics to the Strategy Group in the event of an Epizootic Emergency.

Veterinary and Technical Resource
2.20 DARD Veterinary Service (VS) Divisional Veterinary Officers (DVOs),
     Supervisory Veterinary Officers (SVOs), Veterinary Officers (VOs) and Animal
     Health and Welfare Inspectors (AHWIs) will provide the initial emergency
     response capability.

Non-Government Veterinary Personnel - Temporary Staff

2.21 DARD VS are currently investigating the possibility of engaging non-
     government veterinary personnel on a temporary basis in the event of an
     outbreak of epizootic disease.

Other Government Veterinary and Technical Personnel
2.22 Assistance may be sought from Defra and DAF and is arranged by means of
     initial contact between the respective Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs).
     Ongoing management of locum veterinarians will be a function of VS Corporate
     Services Branch.

Redeployment of Staff
2.23 If necessary, at the start of or during an outbreak of epizootic disease, the
     Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) will seek from DARD Strategy Group (SG)
     authority to release staff from other areas of DARD or from other NI
     Government Departments to work on emergency duties.

2.24 VS have Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with DARD Service Delivery
     Group, DARD Forest Service and DARD Rivers Agency which include
     provision for the loan of administrative, technical and industrial staff.

2.25 The department will also make use of MOUs with Local Councils, the Poultry
     Industry, The Department of Regional Development and the Northern Ireland
     Environment Agency. These relate to the loan of staff and equipment.

2.26 VS Corporate Services Branch (CSB), in conjunction with DARD Departmental
     HR, will lead on coordinating staff deployments in response to needs.


DARD Staff (veterinary, technical and administrative staff)

Veterinary Service Staff

2.27 Veterinary Service (VS) completes a Training Needs Analysis on an annual
     basis for all Veterinary and Technical staff. This determines the type of training
     packages required for the incoming year. Epizootic training is carried out on a
     3 year cycle e.g. Avian 2009-2010, Pig 2010-2011 and Ruminant 2011-2012.
     The training packages are developed to deal with the current epizootic disease
     on the cycle.

Veterinary Officers
2.28 All Veterinary Officers (VOs) take part in Awareness, Preparedness, Local
     Response, Field Decontamination training and contingency exercises for
     response to an outbreak of epizootic disease. Some VOs have been identified
     as Epizootic Team Members who receive specialist epizootic training in order
     to increase and maintain their expertise.

Technical Officers
2.29 All Technical Officers take part in Awareness, Preparedness and Field
     Decontamination training. Officers have been identified to carry out frontline
     tasks including the role of Site Operations Coordinator (SOC) These Officers
     attend regular frontline gassing exercises and other frontline epizootic disease
     training and exercises in order to maintain their expertise.

DARD Animal Health and Service Delivery Group Staff
2.30 The CPED Unit plans, organises and delivers desktop and real-time
     contingency exercises to ensure that Animal Health and SDG staff are
     regularly involved in a structured programme of training designed to equip
     them with the skills and knowledge they require to respond to an outbreak of
     Epizootic Disease.

Operational Instructions
3.1 Staff Instructions are available on the CPED website on the DARD Intranet;
    these provide instructions and guidance for key tasks in responding to an
    outbreak of epizootic animal disease.

Contingency Contracts
3.2 The Procurement Section in the CPED unit with the support and guidance of
    Central Procurement Directorate have arranged contingency contracts with a
    wide range of suppliers to meet anticipated needs in an epizootic disease

3.3 Suppliers contracted to the Department in an epizootic disease emergency will
    be vetted and subjected to regular review and appraisal by the CPED Unit to
    ensure their validity in the event of an outbreak. These contracts and
    agreements include arrangements/facilities for carcase pick-up, transportation
    and disposal; preliminary C&D equipment including pressure washers,
    electrical items and other technical services.

3.4 Supplementary lists of regional suppliers for use in an emergency situation are
    also available for internal use. These suppliers are a back-up to the
    contingency agreements already in place and are likely to be engaged where
    existing contracts cannot meet the demand.

3.5 Detailed instructions and guidance on procurement and commercial contracting
    covering the acquisition of goods and services and the role of the Procurement
    Section in the Contingency Planning Unit for Epizootic Disease (CPED) can be
    found on the CPED website on the DARD Intranet.

3.6 The staff instructions/guidance also allow for local procurement in a situation
    where the item(s) required are either not available on contract or cannot be
    procured quickly enough. This guidance has been endorsed by Financial Policy
    Branch and Internal Audit and must be adhered to.

Equipment and stores
3.7 In the event of an outbreak of Epizootic disease a number of Veterinary
    Service Staff have access to a Pod (a large plastic-lidded crate) which contains
    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Sampling Kits and initial response forms
    for Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza and Bluetongue.

3.8 In addition each Divisional Veterinary Office/DARD Direct Office Epizootic store
    holds a supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Sampling Kits. An
    Epizootic Store keeper has been appointed to ensure that stock levels are

3.9 Stores of equipment are also held in Larne Port Epizootic store and at
    Greenmount College. Details of equipment held in each location are available
    on the CPED website.

3.10 Two fully stocked Site Control Vehicles (SCV) are stored at Larne Port and can
     be delivered to a premises where an outbreak of Epizootic disease has
     occurred by contacting Larne portal office on 028 2826 0021 or 07900 278 934
     (this office is manned 24/7).

Health and Safety
3.11 VS Departmental Health and Safety Advisors will take up post in LEDCC to
     provide assistance and advice on the implementation of DARD H&S policy
     during an outbreak of epizootic disease.

3.12 Specifically they will:
        Liaise with the Valuation Unit, Culling Unit, C&D Unit, Disposal Unit, and
         Biosecurity Unit, Team Leaders in the LEDCC to ensure the completion of
         site specific risk assessments (assisted by the H&S inspection report) as
         necessary for infected premises and designated cull sites.

        Provide help and advice in the preparation of any additional COSHH
         assessments and risk assessments of areas associated with epizootic

        Send updated information for inclusion on DARD Intranet and Internet to
         CEDCC H&S Unit Leader – Departmental Senior Safety Advisor (DSSA).

        Provide a contact/liaison point for H&S issues between the LEDCC and

        Liaise with the DSSA and other safety professionals as necessary to
         ensure parity of approach for H&S issues across DARD.

        Give an expert opinion as and when requested by Unit Team Leaders –
         arranging site visits as required through CEDCC H&S Unit Leader

        Arrange assistance with the investigation of accidents and liaise with the
         HSENI and other outside bodies as necessary.

        Send information regarding accidents to the CEDCC via the DSSA so that
         risk assessments and safe working practices can be reviewed and

        Organise and deliver in-depth training and safety briefings for Unit Team
         Leaders e.g. Culling teams, C&D teams, Disposal teams etc.

        Give an expert opinion on H&S as and when requested by the LEDCC

Public Health
3.13 In the event of an outbreak of zoonotic, epizootic disease such as Avian
     Influenza, the Epizootic DVO will notify the Health Protection Agency (HPA)
     Duty Room (09.00-17.00hrs) on 028 90 553994. The Duty room will then
     contact the lead Public Health Doctor for the appropriate disease. Out of hours
     contact will be made with the Public Health Doctor on call, via ambulance
     control on 02890 404045.

3.14 The Chief Veterinary Officer will contact the Chief Medical Officer in the
     Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS)

3.15 The DHSSPS will work closely with Health and Social Care (HSC)
     organisations, in particular the HPA who will provide expert public health
     advice at an operational level, including advice on preventative medicine
     (prophylaxis) and treatment where necessary.

3.16 Specifically the DHSSPS will :-

        Co-ordinate communications for the human health aspects of the incident,
         and contribute to the animal health communications in relation to press
         releases and joint press conferences.
        Attend DARD Strategy Group Meetings and CEDCC Birdtable Meetings as
         necessary, or nominate appropriate health representatives.
        Advise on minimising the impact of disease control measures on the health
         of the public.

3.17 Specifically the HPA will:-

        Co-ordinate the provision of protective measures to minimise the risk of
         disease in members of the public.
        Also advise on minimising the impact of disease control measures on the
         health of people.
        Manage and co-ordinate follow-up health surveillance for members of the

Worker Protection for Zoonotic Diseases (e.g. Avian Influenza)
3.18 All staff in contact with diseased birds must follow the precautions detailed in
     the relevant risk assessment. See Health and Safety Page (shown below) of
     CPED website on DARD Intranet.

     http://cpedlive/index/cped_ai-home/cped_ai-health_safety.htm (This link can
     only be accessed by DARD staff).

3.19 Because of the number of different strains and varying infectivity of each strain
     of avian influenza virus to people, a precautionary approach should be taken.
     Anyone with medical conditions that may increase the risk of infection with
     avian influenza, such as respiratory disease, will be advised to stay away from
     poultry farms, avoid all contact with infected birds and infective material and
     seek appropriate medical advice.

3.20 All staff that have had, or are likely to have contact with infected birds or
     contaminated materials will need to be provided with information as to how to
     protect themselves and their families from infection. The Occupational Health
     Service has provided guidance to DARD employees on the CPED website on
     the DARD Intranet http://cpedlive/occupational_health_service_guidance.pdf
     (This link can only be accessed by DARD staff).

3.21 To protect against infection, and depending on the level of risk, precautions
     taken by DARD staff may include some or all of the following control measures.

     a)   Limiting Exposure – measures such as whole-house gassing of birds will
          be taken, where possible, to minimise the exposure to potentially
          contaminated environments, infected birds and materials.

b)   Hygiene– high standards of personal hygiene will help prevent ingestion
     and inhalation of infective material and reduce the risk of transmission to
     others. This will include using gloved hands to remove contaminated
     clothing, washing gloves, removing and disposing of gloves and then
     washing hands.

 c) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - if exposure to a contaminated
    environment is necessary, PPE as advised by DARD Health and Safety
    must be used. To reduce the respiratory risks from the agents involved,
    suitable and appropriate Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE) and eye
    protection should be worn.

     PPE must be of good quality, properly maintained and issued individually.
     Where appropriate, a range of sizes should be available. The „one size fits
     all‟ principle is not advised. Badly fitting PPE is at best, inconvenient and
     at worst, ineffective and potentially dangerous. Great care should be taken
     in the removal of PPE to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

     Appropriate training should be given on the fitting, use and maintenance of
     PPE. Where a good seal cannot be achieved with other respirators, eg
     because of facial hair, an airstream helmet will be the only possibility.

 d) Respiratory and mouth protection

 i. a powered respirator (eg airstream type helmet).
 ii. disposable FFP 3 face piece respirator, with exhalation valve in
      conjunction with close fitting goggles.
 iii. other equipment, which gives similar levels of protection includes halfmask
      reusable respirators fitted with a P3 filter in conjunction with close fitting
      goggles or a full-face reusable respirator fitted with a P3 filter (as
      recommended by HSE).

 e) Eye protection– if goggles are worn they must be good quality, comply
    with EN standards and be the anti-mist type to allow prolonged periods of

 f) Hand protection– double gloving to be used with disposable surgical type
    gloves being worn. Where available, the toughened, tear resistant nitrile
    brands are preferred. Lightweight, cut resistant gloves, worn under
    industrial weight nitrile gloves are a good combination for handling/necking

 g) Whole body protection – double-suiting to be worn using lightweight
    disposable overalls with hoods. For work areas where heavy soiling of
    clothing is anticipated, it is recommended that disposable nylon sleeves
    and a disposable plastic apron are also worn.

h) Footwear - standard Wellington boots which can be effectively cleansed
   and disinfected should be suitable in most circumstances.

i) Hair protection- mob cap or hair net should be worn.

j) Immunisation and Anti-viral Prophylactic agents -It is emphasised that
   the mainstay of preventing the transmission of avian influenza to humans
   exposed to the virus during the course of dealing with an outbreak , is
   strict adherence to good work practices, observance of proper hygiene
   and the wearing of appropriate PPE as described above.

   However all suitably health-screened DARD staff will be part of an annual
   influenza vaccination programme delivered by the OHS as a precautionary
   public health measure against re-assortment of the virus in the event of an
   outbreak of avian influenza. In an outbreak situation, all staff exposed to
   infected or potentially infected poultry, their products and waste and who
   have not already been seasonally vaccinated will be vaccinated with the
   seasonal human influenza vaccine subject to satisfactory health

   The vaccine will be given as soon as reasonably possible after the
   commencement of the incident response; however staff will not need to
   have been vaccinated before engaging in the work. Influenza vaccination
   will NOT protect workers against avian influenza and, as stated earlier, is
   a public health measure to prevent simultaneous infection with both
   human and avian influenza where there is the theoretical possibility, due
   to the viruses sharing the same genetic material, of a new and highly
   transmissible virus being produced (by reassortment) that would pose a
   threat to the wider community. It should be noted that there is no
   evidence to suggest that anyone receiving the influenza vaccine is made
   more susceptible to contracting avian influenza.

   Anti-viral drugs are recommended for those in direct contact with infected
   poultry or contaminated material. In the event of an outbreak their use is
   mandatory for appropriately health screened staff.. The drug of choice (at
   present Oseltamivir) will be subject to confirmation by the relevant public
   health authorities at the time of an avian influenza outbreak.
   Recommendations for commencement of Oseltamivir will be consistent
   with the latest Health Protection Agency guidance. When starting the
   medication staff will be given a covering letter which they should forward
   to their General Practitioner.

   The above advice, whilst still current, may be subject to change
   dependent on the advice from the Health Protection Agency. Staff will
   receive a 10-day supply of Oseltamivir until viral study results from the

          poultry are available. Where the viral studies report is negative, staff will
          be advised to cease taking the medication.

3.22 Information and guidance for anyone working with poultry that may be affected
     with avian influenza may be found at:

3.23 This information can also be found in various languages at :

3.24 Persons not employed by the Department of Agriculture should seek health
     and safety guidance from their employer‟s Health and Safety adviser or
     medical practitioner. Advice is also available from the Health and Safety
     Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) website at:

Laboratory Capacity
3.25 Veterinary Science Division (VSD) of Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute
     (AFBI) provide a range of tests for epizootic disease.

3.26 VSD are not approved for the handling of Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) virus
     and laboratory testing will be limited to that required for serological surveillance
     in the aftermath of an outbreak, as described in Paragraph 13 of Annex XV of
     Council Directive/2003/85/EC. Diagnostic testing will be carried out in
     accordance with the requirements of Annex XIII of Directive 2003/85/EC (which
     may be varied by Decisions of the European Commission

3.27 Specifically VSD will:

        maintain its role as part of the surveillance infrastructure for FMD, AI and
         other epizootic diseases in Northern Ireland through the Diagnostic Service
         based at Stormont and Omagh laboratories.

        develop and update (at least on an annual basis) a laboratory contingency
         plan, which will require training of staff, including visits to reference
         laboratories as necessary.

        maintain and develop facilities on the VSD sites.

        provide interpretation of the results of tests.

        provide robust, evidence-based, scientific advice .to DARD tacticians, policy
         makers, strategists and delivery agents via membership of the Scientific
         Advisory Group NI (SAGNI)

        provide the means of collation of sample information and results and
         communication of these to the Epizootics DVO (or suspects desk CEDCC if

3.28 Council Directive 2005/94/EC states that all Avian Influenza virus isolates from
     primary outbreaks shall be submitted to the Community Reference laboratory
     as soon as possible therefore confirmatory testing will be carried out at the
     Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA), Weybridge. VLA will receive virus
     isolates for confirmatory diagnosis and characterization.

3.29 The World (UK National) Reference Laboratory for FMD, Institute for Animal
     Health, Pirbright (IAH Pirbright) is the primary laboratory for the diagnosis of
     FMD in the UK, including Northern Ireland. It is listed as an approved
     laboratory for the handling of foot and mouth disease virus in Part A of Annex
     XI of Council Directive/2003/85/EC. IAH Pirbright will deal with all samples from
     suspect FMD cases.

3.30 VLA is the national reference centre and provides the diagnostic and
     surveillance testing service for a number of notifiable diseases including
     Newcastle disease, Avian Influenza, Rabies Classical Swine Fever, Equine
     Infectious Anaemia, Equine Encephalomyelitis and West Nile Virus.

3.31 IAH Pirbright is the National Reference Laboratory and provides the same
     services for diseases including FMD, African Swine Fever, Swine Vesicular
     Disease, Bluetongue, Peste des petits ruminants, Rinderpest, several ruminant
     poxviruses and African Horse Sickness.

3.32 Test surge capacity, in the event of a disease outbreak, is provided by the VLA.
     Serological testing capacity is provided on a contingency basis of up to
     120,000 samples per week. The laboratory would be ready to start testing
     within three weeks of notification with an initial capacity of 7,000 tests per
     week, 20,000 tests in the second week, 40,000 in the third week and building
     to full capacity of 120,000 tests per week at week 10.

Operational Partners
3.33 CPED ensure that representatives from:-

        Other government departments;
        Operational Partners e.g. PSNI, NIFRS, Northern Ireland Environment
         Agency (NIEA), Public Health Agency and Belfast Resilience;
        Other parts of DARD e.g. Service Delivery Group, Rivers Agency and
         Forest Service and
        those affected by the disease and measures taken to control it;

     are involved in the creation and validation of Contingency Plans for Epizootic
     Disease. Engagement of Operational Partners in exercises helps improve the
     co-ordination of a multi-agency response. Section 6 of the Contingency Plan
     explains the roles and responsibilities of our Operational Partners and


Veterinary Operations

4.1 During an outbreak of Epizootic Animal Disease the Disease Eradication Unit
    at the LEDCC co-ordinates and manages various aspects of valuation,
    eradication, and disposal operations. The Units role is to ensure that animals,
    which are required to be destroyed for disease control purposes, are dealt with
    in an efficient, timely and auditable manner. The responsibility of the Disease
    Eradication Unit extends from the point at which a duly authorised killing
    request is received until the point at which carcase disposal and initial damping
    down of the premises has been completed.

Culling (Slaughter)
4.2 Culling as a disease control measure is carried out on the affected premises
    under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon. The methods used will depend
    on the species and number of livestock that need to be culled and will take
    account of specific site conditions and any resource constraints.

4.3 In most cases culling will be undertaken by the Humane Slaughter Team.

4.4 The following are the main culling methods for cattle, sheep and pigs:

        Lethal injection.
        Use of a free bullet.

4.5 For poultry the main options are:

        Exposure to lethal gas mixtures (Whole House Gassing or Containerised
         Gassing Units)
        Neck dislocation
        Lethal injection.
        Percussion killing.
        Maceration (limited to day-old chicks).

4.6 Under certain very limited circumstances where there is a threat to public
    health or where resources are severely stretched, consideration may be given
    to the use of ventilation shutdown as a last resort.

4.7 Many of these options require the birds to be caught and either placed in stork
    modules or restrained prior to killing. DARD has Memoranda of Understanding
    with the poultry industry who have agreed to supply catching/necking teams.

4.8 VS has a contract in place with a major bulk gas supplier to deliver gas for
    whole house gassing using carbon dioxide. VS also has 4 containerised
    gassing units available for immediate deployment. Staff regularly take part in
    training and trials to ensure they are fully trained in the use of gassing

4.9 The current disposal hierarchy is: -

        Rendering
        Licensed commercial landfill
        Incineration
        Pyres
        Burial

4.10 This hierarchy takes account of policy developments and increasing
     environmental constraints.

4.11 Decisions on disposal options will take into account assessments of risks from
     Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathys (TSEs) and latest Spongiform
     Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) guidance.

4.12 Regulation 29 of the Animal By-Products Regulations (NI) 2003 permits the on-
     site burning or burial of animal by-products in the event of an outbreak of a
     disease mentioned in List A of the OIE. Such burial may only take place in
     accordance with a Notice served by DARD, and in accordance with the
     provisions of Commission Regulation No. 811/2003, which amended the EU
     Animal By-Products Regulation No. 1774/2002.

4.13 Commission Regulation 811/2003 lays down detailed rules for the burial of
     animal by-products in the event of a disease outbreak. Article 6 allows burial
     on site, at an alternative site, or in a landfill site which is approved under the
     Landfill Directive 1999/31/EC, if DARD rejects transport to the nearest
     incineration or rendering plant.

4.14 A number of strategies, would be considered which could reduce the numbers
     of animals to be disposed of in an outbreak. Although mass pyres are unlikely
     to be used in the future, the use of alternative methods of disposal such as on-
     farm pyres and on-farm or mass burial cannot be completely ruled out if

       demand exceeds the capacity of the preferred options of rendering and
       licensed commercial landfill.

4.15 On-farm pyres and on-farm burial will normally only be considered in remote
     areas where access to other routes of disposal is problematic. Any decisions to
     utilise these disposal routes will be taken in consultation with key Stakeholders
     and appropriate environmental and public health assessments will be made at
     each disposal location.

4.16 DARD recognises that there are a number of factors that may impact on the
     disposal hierarchy in the future. These include the implementation of possible
     new environmental or waste management legislation and changes to capacity
     and accessibility of the disposal outlets. The hierarchy will be regularly
     reviewed, in consultation with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)
     and other relevant Stakeholders, to take account of these issues. New
     technologies and facilities will also be reviewed on a regular basis.

4.17 The CPED Unit are currently working towards putting in place an emergency
     rendering contract. Tenders will be invited in the near future. In the meantime,
     in the event of an outbreak of epizootic disease the existing rendering plants in
     Northern Ireland will be asked to submit quotations to carry out rendering for

4.18 The LEDCC manager and Disease Eradication Director (DED) will establish
     which rendering facility is available to them in the event of an animal disease
     outbreak. In the event of rendering capacity being required, the DED will, with
     the assistance of the Disposal Unit Leader, arrange disposal of the carcases
     and associated waste material. The DVO responsible for the disposal site will
     be informed, as will the NIEA and other key Stakeholders/Operational Partners.

4.19 LEDCC manager may be required to liaise with relevant Operational Partners
     and Stakeholders to agree access arrangements and monitoring requirements.

Licensed Commercial Landfill sites
4.20    If rendering capacity has been exhausted, it may be necessary to consider
        the use of licensed landfill.

4.21    There are likely to be legal, commercial and local community problems with
        the use of landfill sites for the disposal of FMD/AI infected carcases.

4.22    Each landfill site owner and local authority will be approached individually by
        DARD for consultation. CPED are currently working with the NIEA and landfill
        site owners in relation to the disposal of chicken litter.

4.23   Air curtain burners may be an option but will require emergency legislation.

Pyre Burning
4.24   Pyre burning would not normally be considered until the use of Air Curtain
       Burners had also been considered and then only in exceptional
       circumstances. If it is decided that pyre burning has to be utilised on a limited
       basis, DARD will follow DHSSPS guidelines together with the relevant VS
       staff instructions. In preparing for pyre burning, DARD will consult with local
       authorities, the Health & Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) and
       Department of Environment (DOE), to ensure environmental and public health
       impacts are minimised.

On-Farm Burial
4.25   If incineration and rendering capacity has been exhausted and licensed
       landfill capacity is limited, it may be necessary to consider on-farm burial. In
       this event DARD will consult with NIEA to ensure that no burial is undertaken
       until an appropriate risk assessment has been completed and prior written
       authorisation from the Department of Environment has been obtained. All
       burials would be undertaken in accordance with the relevant EU and Northern
       Ireland regulations so as to minimise the risk of environmental and public
       health impact.

Livestock Welfare Disposals Scheme
4.26   In certain circumstances a scheme to prevent deterioration in Welfare
       standards and to ensure that standards of animal welfare are not adversely
       affected by the imposition of movement restrictions could be considered.

4.27   A number of centrally negotiated emergency call-off contracts are in place
       with specialist local haulage companies. Procurement advisers in the
       Contingency Planning Unit (CPED) Room 530 Dundonald House will identify
       and procure appropriate transport for carcase disposal, in consultation with
       the LEDCC disposal manager. Each vehicle would be leak-tested prior to
       being loaded and would be escorted to the disposal facility.

4.28   Veterinary Service currently employs 1 Senior Valuation Officer and 6
       Valuation Officers

4.29   A Veterinary Service Valuation Officer will undertake valuations of animals
       killed for control of epizootic disease. For diseases of poultry, valuations
       based on valuation tables will be used for commercial poultry. These tables
       can be found at:

FMD Emergency Vaccination Operations

4.30   There are various drivers, which will contribute towards the decision on
       whether to adopt an emergency vaccination strategy against Foot-and-Mouth
       Disease, and if so, whether the vaccinated animals should subsequently be
       killed or not. The Department‟s preferred approach is that emergency
       vaccination should be on the basis of 'suppressive vaccination‟„(vaccinate to
       kill). The full range of criteria and the factors, which the Department must take
       into consideration before deciding on a vaccinations strategy, are included in
       the FMD Directive. Any decisions will include options for rare breeds and zoo

4.31   In line with EC Directive for the control of Foot and Mouth Disease,
       emergency vaccination must be considered as an option from the start of any
       future Foot-and-Mouth (FMD) outbreak

4.32   Veterinary advice on a vaccination strategy will be based on epidemiological
       evidence and it is unlikely to be immediately available. This will allow for the
       particular strain of the FMD virus to be identified (up to two days).

4.33   If required to proceed with vaccination based on the outcome of veterinary
       advice, preparations will commence for the recruitment, training and location
       of teams to be ready to start vaccination.

4.34   It is unlikely that vaccination could begin until at least five days after a
       decision to vaccinate has been taken. Once the strain of virus has been
       identified (and a decision taken to vaccinate) it would take 3 – 4 days to
       produce vaccine depending on the type required, During this time
       arrangements can be put in place for dispatch to the Delivery Out Centres

Information Management/Information Technology
4.35   The provision of common infrastructure and desktop IT services to NICS staff
       in the office or when mobile working is the responsibility of IT Assist. Setting
       up the Central and Local Epizootic Disease Control Centres also falls within
       their remit. An IT Scoping Document drawn up by the CPED Unit to agree
       service levels between Veterinary Service (VS) and IT Assist is currently
       under review.

Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS)
4.36   The Animal and Public Health Information System (APHIS) is the key
       Management Information System to be used in the event of an outbreak. It
       can be used to trace movement of animals, check test history and restrict
       movement of animals or herds. Cognos is used to interrogate the APHIS
       system to produce management information reports.

4.37   The APHIS Support Unit (ASU) Dundonald House Belfast is responsible for
       maintaining the system. As a contingency measure a back up server is held
       in Craigantlet Buildings in Stormont Estate. Routine back-ups also take place
       to ensure that data loss in cases of total failure is minimal.

4.38   In order to enhance preparedness for an outbreak of epizootic disease such
       as Foot-and-Mouth Disease, the Department's Veterinary Service has in
       place a fully equipped Humane Slaughter Team. Firearms used by the team
       were purchased by Veterinary Service and are held under Crown Immunity
       provisions following consultation with the PSNI.

4.39   Team members, most of whom have their own personal Firearms Certificate,
       are experienced marksmen. They train regularly as a team and operate in
       peacetime for animal welfare reasons. An emergency contract is in place for
       provision of ammunition for the types of firearms held.

4.40   Depending on the outcome of risk assessments, other types of weapons are
       sometimes used by team members who are Veterinary Surgeons, for
       example "syringe projector pistols" and “blow pipes."

Rural Issues
4.41   During any outbreak of animal disease DARD is particularly aware of the
       impact on the rural communities affected. They would work in liaison with the
       Rural Stakeholder Forum. The forum enables stakeholders to share their
       views and positions, thereby improving the common understanding of cross-
       cutting issued.

4.42   Members of the Core Stakeholder group can be found at

       http://dardintranet/cpgintranet/Core%20Group.shtml (this can only be
       accessed by DARD staff)

4.43   To limit the spread of disease, strict biosecurity arrangements must be
       enforced on farms where disease control work is taking place and on vehicles
       used to transport animals and poultry.

4.44   Biosecurity is the prevention of disease causing agents entering or leaving
       any place where they can pose a risk to farm animals, other animals,
       humans, or the safety and quality of a food product. The Biosecurity Code for
       Northern Ireland Farms can be found at:

4.45   The cleansing and disinfection of vehicles used for the transport of animals
       helps in the prevention and spread of disease. Basic information for the
       industry can be found at:

Animal Welfare
4.46   Owners and keepers of farmed animals are required to comply fully with
       domestic legislation (The Welfare of Farmed Animals (NI) Regulations 2000,
       as amended) which sets down minimum standards for keeping farm animals
       and contains specific requirements such as inspections, record keeping,
       freedom of movement, buildings and equipment and the feeding and watering
       of animals.

4.47   The Northern Ireland Codes of Recommendations for the Welfare of
       Livestock, which provides advice and guidance for the upkeep of farm
       animals and details of relevant legislation, can be found at:

4.48   During an outbreak further guidance may be issued to farmers in advance of
       or in the early stages of, movement restrictions being put in place. The
       guidance will be made available at:

Veterinary Service, Animal Health & Welfare, DARD, and its
agencies, exercising and responding to outbreaks


5.1 The EU FMD Directive 9474/03 requires Member States to exercise their FMD
    contingency plans twice within a five-year period although there is a derogation
    allowing one of these real-time exercises to be for another “major epidemic
    disease affecting terrestrial animals” (Annex XVII par. 11.2.3).

5.2 Following the outbreak of FMD in 2001 a team of consultants led by Price
    Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) was appointed to carry out an independent review
    of the management of the outbreaks and to identify lessons for the future. One
    of the primary recommendations of the PWC Review was to undertake regular
    simulation exercises in order to test the effectiveness and efficiency of the
    Contingency Plan.

5.3 The CPED Unit was established in 2004 and put in place a programme of
    exercises, which were designed to test the procedures and preparedness of
    each level of the DARD response, from the initial veterinary investigation in the
    field, to the strategic level co-ordination of the DARD Strategy Group in
    Dundonald House. (Appendix 2 lists the exercises)

5.4 In particular the exercises have tested the activation, integration and operation
    of DARD‟s emergency response, namely the DARD Strategy Group (Gold
    Command), the Central Epizootic Disease Control Centre (Silver Command)
    and the Local Epizootic Disease Control Centre (Bronze Command), internal
    and external communications and liaison with Health Colleagues and
    Operational Partners.

5.5 The CPED unit use the principles of project management to manage the
    exercise programme. A Project Initiation Document (PID) is completed for each
    exercise; the high level objectives are signed off by the Senior Responsible
    Owner and managed by a Project Manager.

5.6 Following each exercise, a post-exercise report is compiled. The reports
    summarise the issues identified for further work to enhance readiness and
    resilience whilst assessing the overall benefits of the exercises. As part of the
    reports, action plans are developed to assist in implementation of the
    recommendations. These reports are available on the library and disease
    information sections of the CPED website on the DARD Intranet. The website
    screenshot below shows an example of the AI page.

Responding to Outbreaks of Disease

5.7 Although the DARD contingency plans have not been fully deployed as a result
    of an outbreak of Epizootic Disease in NI, DARD have, in recent years, worked
    with DEFRA colleagues in response to a number of GB based incidents such
    as H5N1 in a large scale turkey premises at Holton, Suffolk in February 2007,
    low pathogenic H7N2 near Corwen, North Wales in May 2007 and H7N7 in
    Banbury, Oxfordshire in June 2008.

5.8 In August 2007 Foot-and-Mouth Disease was confirmed near Pirbright, A
    number of DARD VS staff assisted at the National Disease Control Centre at
    Page Street London.

5.9 Elements of the DARD Contingency Plan for Epizootic Disease were also used
    to manage the Department‟s response to a case of Bluetongue in Armoy in
    February 2008 and a dioxin contamination incident between December 2008
    and May 2009.

5.10 The lessons learned from these incidents have been considered and
     incorporated in the continued development of plans and instructions.

     Appendix 1

                                                                                      Appendix 2

Name of Exercise       Purpose of Exercise                  Date            Participants
                                                                            DARD, VS, OHS,
Exercise Dovetail      H&S and Procurement                  2&3-June-2005   CCDCNI, HSENI
                       Efficiently and humanely gas
Loughgall Whole        poultry contained in a caged
House Gassing          layer shed.                          20-Sep-2005     DARD VS
                       To test the effectiveness of the
                       revised communications systems                       DARD
Exercise Kittiwake 1   within the LEDCC;                    6&7-Oct-2005    (Operational)
                       To develop staff awareness of
                       and expertise in the new
                       To quality assure the
                       Contingency Plan for Epizootic
                       Disease as it applies to each
                       LEDCC Unit (in the light of the
                       revised communications
                       proposals and experience gained
                       in the Exercise).
                       As above plus to test role of        24 & 25-May-    DARD
Exercise Kittiwake 2   ROD                                  2006            (Operational)
                       Initial responses to Epizootic
                       Disease and the mobilisation of
                       the Emergency Command Group
Exercise Cygnet 1      (ECG).                               06-Mar-06       DARD
                       Agree our communication links                        DARD, DHSSPS,
Exercise Cygnet 2      with Health Board colleagues         29-Jun-06       Health Boards
                       The roles within the Epizootic
                       Disease Control Unit (Veterinary
Exercise Cygnet 3      Technical Experts)                   24-Aug-06       VS
                       Develop staff instructions and                       Trade Policy and
Exercise Cygnet 4      identify gaps in policy.             03-Oct-06       Food Policy
                       Develop staff instructions and                       Animal Disease
Exercise Cygnet 5      identify gaps in policy.             14-Nov-06       Policy
                       Consider communication
                       requirements between the Local
                       Epizootic Disease Control Centre
                       (LEDCC) to CEDCC and
                       assisted in developing the role of
Exercise Cygnet 6      the Central Communicator (CC).       14-Dec-06       VS
                       Test the ability of DARD staff,
                       OHS personnel and the
                       rendering industry to coordinate
                       an operation where carcasses
                       infected with Highly Pathogenic
                       Avian Influenza are transported                      DARD, OHS,
Rendering Plant        to the rendering plant for                           Rendering Plant
Exercise               destruction.                         21-Feb-07       Staff
                       Develop procedures for the
                       supply of equipment and
Exercise Cygnet 7      personnel.                           30-Mar-07       VS
                       Central Communications Unit to
                       put in place plans to support
Exercise Cygnet 8      information handling in CEDCC        17-Apr-07       DARD
                       Tactical Steering Group (TSG) a
                       chance to gain an understanding
                       of their roles and to discuss a
                       range of issues which may arise
Exercise Cygnet 9      in the event of an outbreak.        24-Apr-07        DARD
                                                                            DARD, DEFRA,
                       Rotator Head & Containerised                         NIFRS , Poultry
Eskra                  Gassing Unit (CGU) testing.         03-May-07        Industry
                       Consider communication,
                       disease control and policy                           DARD (Tactical
Exercise Kestrel 1     implications.                       14 & 15 May 07   Level)
                       Communications with
                       Department of Agriculture, Food
Exercise Cygnet 10     and Fisheries (DAFF).               27-Jun-07        DARD and DAFF
                                                                            DARD VPHU and
Grants Meat Factory    Role of SOC at a meat Plant         02 August 2007   VS
Bluetongue             Test ECG response to                02 October
Walkthrough            bluetongue.                         2007             DARD
                       Exercise Marsh Daisy tested the
                       liaison and communication
                       between CEDCC, the Health
                       Boards and the OHS and the
                       appropriateness of human
                       contact tracing and surveillance                     DARD, OHS,
                       documentation and                                    DHSSPS, Health
Exercise Marsh Daisy   arrangements.                       04-Dec-07        Boards
                       To understand the principles and
                       practices of Veterinary Service‟s                    VS, Rivers Agency,
                       incident control procedures on                       Poultry industry,
Exercise Riverbird     an avian influenza infected site.   29-Feb-08        NIFRS
                       For Rivers Agency staff to obtain
                       an understanding of Veterinary
                       service decontamination
                       procedures coming out of a
                       highly pathogenic avian influenza
                       infected site by observing
                       Veterinary Service staff.
                       Carry out a “snatch rescue”
                       (River Agency staff) within a
                       poultry house situation.
                       Test revisions made to CEDCC        11 & 12 March
Exercise Kestrel 2     following Kestrel .1                2008             Tactical Level
                       Review and identify areas for
                       improvement within the Epizootic
                       Contingency Planning for Red
                       Meat Slaughterhouses                                 OV, Food Business
Exercise Brown Cow     instructions.                            18-Jun-08   Operator
                       Test response to a suspect rabid
Red Rover              dog at Port.                        24-Jun-08        DARD and AFBI
                                                                            VS, Rivers Agency,
Whole House                                                                 Poultry industry,
Gassing Benburb        An overview of whole house                           NIFRS, YARA PLC
                       gassing and H&S.                    16 &17 Sep 08    (Gas providers)

Clough                 Cull Exercise.                      30-Sep-08        DARD VS

Sionmills              Cull Exercise.                      23 & 24 Oct 08   DARD VS
Dioxin Cull             Cull Exercise.                      March/April 09   DARD VS
                                                                             DARD (Strategic
                                                            09-Apr-09        Scottish Resilience,
Exercise Chough         Strategy Group response to AI.                       OFMDFM
                        Develop staff instructions and
                        identify gaps(Disease               04-Sep-09        DARD VS
Exercise Goldcrest 1    Eradication).                                        (Operational Level)
                        Develop staff instructions and      09-Sep-09        DARD VS
Exercise Goldcrest 2    identify gaps (Disease Detection.                    (Operational Level)
                        Develop staff instructions and      15-Sep-09        DARD VS
Exercise Goldcrest 3    identify gaps (Disease Control).                     (Operational Level)
                        Review and identify areas for
                        improvement within the
                        Operational level of the DARD
Exercise                contingency plan for epizootic                       DARD VS
Yellowhammer            disease.                            11-Nov-09        (Operational Level)
                        Clarify structure, roles and
                        responsibilities of individual
                        sections of the Information and
Exercise Parakeet       Communications Management           April – June     DARD (Tactical
Pre Exercise Training   Unit (ICMU).                        2010             Level)
                        Test revisions made following
                        Yellowhammer 1and identify
                        areas for improvement within the
                        Operational level of the DARD
Exercise                contingency plan for epizootic                       DARD VS
Yellowhammer 2          disease.                            26-May-2010-     (Operational Level)

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