Version 3.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defra

Foot and Mouth Disease

Contingency Plan

 


FOREWORD

 

This Contingency Plan takes forward the Government’s commitment to implement the recommendations of the Inquiries into the foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001.  The Lessons Learned Inquiry stressed the importance of contingency planning, the need to react with speed and certainty, and the importance of clear and consistent communication with interested parties.

 

The plan sets out the structures and systems that would be immediately implemented in an outbreak and describes the capability that would enable the speedy provision of resources to bring into operation the Government’s control policies.  It has been developed with input from stakeholders and acknowledges the importance of greater engagement with operational partners, particularly local authorities, both in developing emergency preparedness and dealing with a disease outbreak.

 

Defra published an interim Foot and Mouth Disease Contingency Plan in March 2002 which codified the immediate lessons learned from the 2001 outbreak.  Following the publication of the Reports of the Official Inquiries, a revised version was published on 6 November 2002 at the same time as the Government responded to the Inquiries’ recommendations.  This Plan replaces that version following consultation, policy development and further work.

 

The purpose of publishing this Plan is to make transparent the way in which FMD control policies would be implemented in the event of an outbreak.  In this sense it is an operational plan.  Future developments in policy such as those that may result from the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy and the implementation of new legislation such as the current draft FMD Directive will be reflected in future revisions as part of a commitment to regular updating and stakeholder involvement.  This Plan is intended only to indicate how Defra and its partners would implement the agreed policies.  It will be subject to regular review. 

 

The Plan fits into the framework of the EU approved Contingency Plan and is augmented by the detailed SVS instructions dealing with operational disease control and the particular local aspects of the control operation that are contained in plans maintained by each Animal Health Divisional Office.

 

This Plan will be brought into use not only in the event of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, but also to provide the structures, frameworks and systems that would be necessary for the control of other exotic diseases.  They have been developed against the background of the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak and may be modified and developed during future operations.  They are the initial framework for managing an outbreak in a structured way, but they are not intended to constrain the way the control operation develops.  The Plan provides at present a clear and public operational plan which would guide Defra and those with whom it works in dealing with an outbreak of exotic disease and informs the public and all those who might be affected by the control measures. 

 

The Plan sets out how the disease would be controlled were there to be an outbreak tomorrow.  It is however, the Government’s view that there needs to be a fairer balance between farmers and tax payers in meeting the costs of animal diseases.  The view is supported by the Curry Commission, the Lessons Learned Inquiry into FMD 2001 and the PAC report.  A Defra-led working group comprising stakeholders from the livestock and insurance industries has been exploring policy options for this.  The group completed the initial phase of this work in 2002.  It is likely that a combination of a levy and voluntary top up insurance could provide a basis for a way forward and work is continuing with the view of launching a wide ranging consultation exercise in summer 2003.  This will affect compensation for animals slaughtered in the disease control operation or under a livestock welfare scheme, and the costs of secondary cleansing and disinfection. 

 

Since the last version of the Plan was published it has been considerably augmented.  It now makes reference to the availability of detailed instructions on procurement and commercial contracting and on financial management of the outbreak.  It explains the provision of a register of Defra staff available for service in an emergency and how further personnel would be engaged.  It explains how the new register of independent valuers would be employed and the call up of monitor valuers.  It outlines the key regional operational stakeholder capabilities and encourages the greater involvement of Defra, both nationally and locally, with its operational partners to ensure a better integrated approach to disease control and with all those affected to provide a better understanding of what the effect disease control measures would have. 

 

It includes a new section on the role of the Rural Stress Action Plan Working Group - encouraging liaison with volunteer and charity organisations who could offer support.  Finally the Plan reflects the provisions of the Animal Health Act 2002 by reference to emergency vaccination and the Decision Tree for disease control strategies, the disease control slaughter protocol for the use of the pre-emptive cull and refers to the revised biosecurity guidance which is out for consultation. 

 

This version of the Contingency Plan takes into account comments received, operational additions to the plan and lessons learned from exercises.  It has been the subject of considerable consultation with stakeholders and reflects as far as possible the comments that have been made.  As a living document it will always be open for further comment.

 

7        The latest version of the Contingency Plan will be displayed on the Defra website at all times with a box for comments allowing ongoing opportunity for comment.

7        Timely meetings will be held with stakeholders so that views can be included in the process of the development of the Plan.

7        Any proposals for significant changes of policy affecting the Plan will be subject to separate consultation exercises.  Consultation letters will explain that the end result will form part of the Plan.  To avoid consultation ‘fatigue’ we will not always consult on the whole Plan when only these policy changes are incorporated.  However, interested parties will be written to in order to let them know of the changes to the Plan and we will also place a clear message on the Defra website;

7        Where changes of factual information relating to Defra operational arrangements occur, appropriate written consultation exercises will be carried out.

7        Regardless of any separate consultations on particular issues, a full written consultation on the Plan will take place at least annually.

 

Operational Instructions to carry out the requirements of this contingency plan are contained within the State Veterinary Service Instructions - VIPER (Veterinary Instructions, Procedures and Emergency Routines) Chapter 3.  This is available to the public in the Defra library, Room 320A, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR and may be viewed by appointment by telephone: 0207 238 6575 (please allow 24 hours notice). 

 

A project to consolidate the existing version into a web based document, capturing and collating experiences gained during 2001 to provide a consistent response based on best practices identified during and following the outbreak is under way.  The revised re-presented chapter should be completed and publicly available on the Defra website in the summer.


 

 

CONTENTS

 

 

GLOSSARY

 

 

 

Page

Section 1 - Background, Structures and Policies

 

 

1.1       Background

13

1.6       Outline of Command Structures

14

1.12    Outline of Policies

15

 

Section 2 - Alert System & States of Alert

 

 

2.2       AMBER - Action on Suspicion of FMD

17

2.13    RED - Initial Action on Confirmation of FMD

20

2.15    Policies to be applied on confirmation of FMD

21

 

Section 3 - Resources

 

 

3.1       Involvement of the Armed Forces

23

3.5       Human Resources

23

            3.5       Veterinary Personnel

23

            3.8       Regional Operations Directors (RODs) and Divisional Operations Managers (DOMs)

24

            3.12    Administrative, Field and Technical Personnel

25

            3.23    Legal Services

26

            3.26    Vaccination Teams

27

3.28    Involvement of Stakeholders and Operational Partners

27

3.31    Training & Exercises

28

            3.31    Veterinary Training

28

            3.33    AHDO training

28

            3.34    Induction Training

28

            3.37    Media Training

29

            3.38    Contingency Planning Exercises

29

3.39    Health & Safety & Staff Welfare

29

3.44    Accommodation

30

3.48    Information Technology & Data Systems

31

3.57    Procurement

32

            3.57    General - Procurement & Commercial Contracting Contingency Plan

32

            3.64    National/Regional/Local Call-off Contracts & Supply Contingency Arrangements

33


 

 

Page

3.69    Financial Control

34

            3.69    NDCC Head of FMD Finance

34

            3.70    Finance Managers, LDCCs

34

            3.71    Role of Finance Officers

35

3.75    Equipment and Stores

35

            3.75    National Minimum Stocking Levels

35

            3.76    Divisional Minimum Stocking Levels

35

            3.77    Stores to Supply Vaccination Teams

36

 

Section 4 - Key Operations

 

 

 

4.1       Emergency Vaccination

37

4.6       Animal Welfare

38

4.11    Valuation

38

4.15    Restricted Infected Areas

39

4.16    Biosecurity Guidance

39

4.18    Disposal

40

4.36    Serology

43

4.47    Cleansing & Disinfection of Affected Premises

44

4.49    Rodent Control

45

 

Section 5 - Management Information & Communications

 

 

 

5.1       Management Information & Disease Control Information

46

5.5       Communications      

46

            5.5       Media

46

            5.7       Website

47

            5.9       Helplines

47

            5.10    Central Co-ordination

47

            5.12    Notifiable Disease Awareness Programmes

48

 

Section 6 - Strategic Level Plan

 

 

 

6.1       Background and Scope

49

            Structures and ‘Battle Rhythm’

52

            Key Strategic Structures and roles

53

            Strategic Level Roles

68

 

Section 7 - Tactical Level Plan

 

7.1       Background & Scope

73

7.7       Activation

73

7.9       NDCC Team Tasks

74

7.23    Stakeholders

78

7.24    Co-ordination

78

7.27    Corporate Communications

79

7.28    Meetings

79

7.29    Administration

81

 


 

 

Page

Section 8 - Operational Level Plan

 

8.1       Background & Scope

83

8.3       Objectives

83

8.7       Activation

84

8.8       Process

84

8.12    Involvement of Stakeholders & Operational Partners

84

8.15    Administration

85

 

 


ANNEXES

 

Annex A

Veterinary Guidance for Initial Action on Suspect Cases

Annex B

Decision Tree

Annex C

Slaughter Protocol

Annex D

Emergency Vaccination Arrangements

Annex E

Veterinary Risk Assessment and Protocol for Rights of Way Closures

Annex F

Contacts List

Annex G

Regional Operations Directors and Divisional Operations Managers - Emergency Contact Details

Annex H

Communications - Action by Communications Directorate

Annex I

Organograms of Key Structures - NDCC

Annex J

Organograms of Key Structures - LDCC

Annex K

Format of FMD Daily Situation Report (SITREP)

Annex L

Health & Safety Plan

Annex M

Biosecurity Advice and Guidance

Annex N

Key Stakeholders - Capabilities

Annex O

Devolved Administrations

-           Scotland

-           Wales

 


Glossary

 

 

ACPO

Association of Chief Police Officers

ACVO

Assistant Chief Veterinary Officer

AHDO

Animal Health Divisional Office

AHO

Animal Health Officer

AHWD

Animal Health and Welfare Directorate

AMED

Animal Movements and Exotic Diseases Division

ASD

Accounting Services Division

 

BCMS

British Cattle Movement Service

BEMD

Building and Estates Management Division

 

CA

Countryside Agency

C&D

Cleansing and Disinfection

CCC

Civil Contingencies Committee

CCC(O)

Civil Contingencies Committee (Officials)

CCS

Civil Contingencies Secretariat (Cabinet Office)

CD

Communications Directorate

CMO

Chief Medical Officer

COBR

Cabinet Office Briefing Room

Comms

Communications

CP

Contiguous Premises

CSA

Chief Scientific Adviser (Defra)

CSD

Corporate Services Division

CVO

Chief Veterinary Officer

 


DARDNI

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Northern Ireland

DC

Dangerous Contact

DCMS

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

DCS

Disease Control System Database

DCVO

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer, Director Vet Policy

Defra

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

DG

Director General

DGLS

Director General Legal Services (Defra)

DG LURA

Director General Land Use and Rural Affairs (Defra)

DG OSD

Director General Operations and Service Delivery (Defra)

 

 

DHSM

Departmental Health and Safety Manager

DHSU

Departmental Health and Safety Unit

DOH

Department of Health

DOM

Divisional Operations Manager

DOT

Department of Transport

DVM

Divisional Veterinary Manager

DWP

Department for Work and Pensions

 

EA

Environment Agency

EC

European Commission

EDG

Emergency Direction Group

EFRA

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Select Committee)

ESA

Environment Services Association

EU

European Union

 

FMD

Foot and Mouth Disease

FSA

Food Standards Agency

 

GICS

Government Information and Communication Service

GIS

Geographic Information Systems

GNN

Government News Network

GOs

Government Offices in the Regions

 

H&S

Health and Safety

HASANS

Defra Departmental Health and Safety Notices

HOD

Head of Division

HMT

Her Majesty’s Treasury

HQ

Defra Headquarters

HR

Human Resources

HSE

Health and Safety Executive

HsVS

Heads of Veterinary Services in Defra Regions

HVS

Head Veterinary Services

 

IAH Pirbright

Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright

IP

Infected Premises

ITD

Information Technology Division

 

LA

Local Authority

LACORS

Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services

LASSA

Licensed Animal Slaughterers and Salvage Association

LDCC

Local Disease Control Centre

LGA

Local Government Association

LSDG

Legal Services Directorate General

LURA

Land Use and Rural Affairs

LVI

Local Veterinary Inspector

 

MOD

Ministry of Defence

MPs

Members of Parliament

 

NAO

National Audit Office

NCC

News Co-ordination Centre

NDCC

National Disease Control Centre

NFU

National Farmers Union

NWMT

National Wildlife Management Team

 

ODPM

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

OD SEC

Cabinet Office Overseas & Defence Secretariat

OD(W)

Operations Director Wales

OGD

Other Government Department

OIE

Office International des Epizooties

OSD

Operations and Service Delivery

OST

Office of Science and Technology

 

PCD

Procurements and Contracts Division

PERT

Procurement Emergency Response Team

PHLS

Public Health Laboratory Service

PZ

Protection Zone

 

RCU

Regional Co-ordination Unit (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)

RDS

Rural Development Service

RIDDOR

Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurances Regulations

ROD

Regional Operations Director

RPA

Rural Payments Agency (Defra Agency)

 

SAG

Science Advisory Group (Defra)

SAHO

Senior Animal Health Officer

SAPER
SEAC

Science Advisory Panel for Emergency Response

Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee

SEERAD

Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department

SEPA

Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Sitrep

Situation Report

SLA

Service Level Agreement

SOS

Slaughter on Suspicion

SVC

Standing Veterinary Committee

SVS

State Veterinary Service

SVSCP

State Veterinary Service Contingency Planning Division

 

TVI

Temporary Veterinary Inspector

 

VIPER

Veterinary Instructions, Procedures and Emergency Routines (State Veterinary Service Operational Instructions)

VA

Veterinary Adviser

VEXDD

Veterinary Exotic Diseases Division

VLA

Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Weybridge

VO

Veterinary Officer

VRD

Veterinary Resources Division in the State Veterinary Service

VTVS

Vetnet Tracing Verification System

 

WAG

Welsh Assembly Government

WAG ARAD

Welsh Assembly Government Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department

 


 

 

SECTION 1 - Background, Structures and Policies

 

 

 

BACKGROUND

 

1.1       This document is Defra’s contingency plan framework for foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks within the structure provided by the existing EU approved contingency plan. It is a working document subject to regular review and update.

 

1.2       The Plan follows guidance produced by the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat and Defra’s Emergencies Unit.

 

1.3       The Plan is split into sections, which are designed to be removed and used as ‘standalone’ documents giving guidance at differing levels.

 

1.4       This framework document taken together with the State Veterinary Service operational instructions (VIPER Chapter 3) and local contingency plans form Defra’s FMD contingency plans.  The State Veterinary Service operational instructions (VIPER Chapter 3) include detailed guidance and instruction for staff in local Animal Health Divisional Offices (or Local Disease Control Centres) and the National Disease Control Centre.  Local plans, prepared by AHDOs, include local procedures and contact lists to allow the implementation of VIPER Chapter 3 instructions and the National Contingency Plan.  This ensures a consistent national approach whilst allowing  necessary adaptation to local circumstances. This framework contingency plan does not re-iterate VIPER Chapter 3 and local instructions.  This Plan provides a clear view of the structures, roles and responsibilities required at strategic and tactical levels in order to support the operations on the ground.

 

1.5       The Plan is based on established veterinary procedures and also incorporates some of the control policies that developed during the 2001 outbreak.  It codifies the experiences and operational lessons learnt from that outbreak and reflects the recommendations made by the Official Inquiries.


 

OUTLINE OF COMMAND STRUCTURES

 

Command and Control

 

1.6       The response to a disease alert will be controlled using a Strategic, Tactical and Operational command structure.

 

Strategic Command

 

1.7       Purpose:  To provide high level command and control at all stages of an animal disease outbreak, enabling a cross departmental response which gives clear strategic direction.  Initially Defra Management Board, but rapid establishment of the Civil Contingencies Committee (CCC and/or CCC(O)) which will include Ministers (both Defra and other Government Departments), Defra Permanent Secretary, Defra Directors General (including the Chief Veterinary Officer), Directors of: State Veterinary Service and Defra Communications Directorate and senior officials from other relevant Government Departments (as below).

 

1.8       Representatives from No. 10, Devolved Administrations (SEERAD, WAG ARAD), Cabinet Office (Civil Contingencies Secretariat), Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Regional Co-ordination Unit), Environment Agency, Countryside Agency, Department of Health, Home Office (and Association of Chief Police Officers), Ministry of Defence, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Department for Transport, HM Treasury, Food Standards Agency, Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Trade and Industry.

 

Tactical Command

 

1.9       Purpose:  Twofold.

 

1)  To provide a co-ordinated response to the direction received from the Strategic Group and provide operational feedback.

 

2)  To devise tactics for operational implementation.

 

Emergency Direction Group and National Disease Control Centre (NDCC).  Includes representatives from other Government Departments, Devolved Administrations, executive agencies and key operational partners including the local authorities and Defra Directors (FMD Operations, Communications, Veterinary Policy, Animal Health and Welfare (and Livestock Strategy Division), Corporate Services, Finance, Environment Quality and Waste, Rural Economies and Communities and Legal Services A).


 

Operational Command

 

1.10    Purpose:  Twofold.

 

1)  To implement contingency plans, working with stakeholders to ensure effective control of the disease outbreak.

 

2)  To receive tactical guidance and implement it in liaison with other local responders and provide regular feedback.

 

Local Disease Control Centres (LDCCs) under Regional Operations Director/Divisional Veterinary Manager control; to include representatives from relevant agencies, local authorities, other key stakeholders and operational partners (see Annex N).

 

1.11    N.B.     This Plan covers operations in England.  Annex O sets out outline details of the contingency plans for Scotland and Wales.  Northern Ireland also has a separate contingency plan, details of which are not outlined in this plan as the island of Ireland is treated as a separate epidemiological entity.

 

OUTLINE OF POLICIES
 

1.12    These policies will be applied if FMD is confirmed

(Note: The first case will be confirmed by Laboratory Test)

 

7        A GB wide national movement ban of susceptible species will be put in place immediately.

 

7        Export licences for animals and animal products will be withdrawn.

 

7        Diseased and other susceptible animals on infected premises will be culled as soon as possible, within 24 hours of report.  Dangerous contacts will be culled as soon as possible.

 

7        Emergency Vaccination will immediately be considered as an option based upon emerging epidemiological and logistical factors.  If emergency vaccination is used it would be on the basis of vaccinate-to-live wherever possible.

 

7        A Protection Zone will be imposed with a radius of 3km around the Infected Premises.  Regular veterinary patrol visits of all premises with susceptible livestock within this area will take place.

 

7        A Restricted Infected Area will be declared with a minimum radius of 10km around infected premises.  This will require increased levels of biosecurity on farms, cleansing and disinfection (C&D) for vehicles, people and machinery moving on/off farms and movement controls for animals, animal products, feed and bedding.

 

7        Disposal by incineration would be implemented immediately with rendering as the next option and other disposal routes being available as an additional resource subject to environmental, land use planning and public health considerations.

 

7        Footpaths would only be closed on Infected Premises and within the 3km Protection Zone, (A Veterinary Risk Assessment and Protocol for Rights of Way closure is at Annex E).

 

1.13    Further action will depend on the circumstances of a particular outbreak and on scientific and veterinary advice.  The Decision Tree (Annex B) will be followed in deciding what action to take.

 

1.14    Additional strategies include:

 

7        culling of other susceptible livestock exposed to the disease (e.g. premises under virus plumes, premises contiguous to the infected premises); and

 

7        pre-emptive or ‘firebreak’ culling of animals not on infected premises, not dangerous contacts or not necessarily exposed to the disease, in order to prevent the wider spread of the disease outwith an area.

 

 


 

 

SECTION 2 - Alert System & States of Alert

 

 

2.1       A standard alert system has been adopted as a basis for planning the response to a disease outbreak.  Alert states of ‘Amber’ (in the case of suspicion of disease) and ‘Red’ (on confirmation of the first case of disease) will be called.

 

AMBER - ACTION ON SUSPICION OF FMD

 

2.2       Any suspicion of FMD must be reported to the local Animal Health Division Office (AHDO) of the State Veterinary Service who will take action according to SVS instructions.  In outline this means that:-

 

7        movement restrictions will be imposed on the affected premises whilst investigations are carried out;

7        if initial examination of the suspect animal by an official Veterinary Inspector cannot rule out the existence of FMD, samples will be taken and sent for laboratory analysis;

7        as a precautionary measure, movement restrictions will also be imposed on all livestock holdings within an 8km radius of the affected premises;

7        key local stakeholders will be notified as soon as practicable.

 

 

2.3       Responsibility for providing and communicating information on a suspect case of disease, including laboratory results, lies with Veterinary Exotic Diseases Division (VEXD) who use form ND1 to notify key veterinary and policy personnel in HQ and the regions, including the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Director of the State Veterinary Service.  The Director of the SVS will put the relevant ROD & DOM on alert.

 

2.4       Out of Hours notification is the responsibility of the Duty Veterinary Adviser and Duty Press Officer.

 

2.5       In some cases where laboratory confirmation is awaited and the veterinary assessment indicates an unacceptable risk in waiting, the Chief Veterinary Officer may take the decision to move to red alert before final confirmation is received.  In this case all action indicated as required under ‘Red’ alert will be immediately initiated.

 

Communications Protocol - Laboratory Test Results on a suspect case

 

2.6       This protocol governs the distribution and timing of release of information on test results, both internally and externally.

 

2.7       Information should be made available as soon as possible.  To ensure that communications aspects can be dealt with as quickly as possible, a discussion, normally by conference call, should take place with the CVO or his nominated representative leading and those listed below participating.

 

            CVO

            DG OSD

            Director SVS

            AHWD - Director or Head of Division

            LSDG - Director of Head of Division

            CD (and GNN)

            Private Offices

            No. 10

            SVS Contingency Planning

            DVM

            Civil Contingencies Secretariat

            News Co-ordination Centre

 

2.8       The arrangements for convening the conference call will be undertaken by CD (out of hours the duty press officer will be notified by the Duty Veterinary Advisor in AHWD).  A list of contact names and numbers for internal principals and their deputies will be maintained by AHWD and available from the Defra Duty Officer and the SVS Home Duty Clerk.

 

2.9       The agenda for the communications teleconference call would comprise (with a report from bracketed party)

 

            1.         Situation Report        - National (CVO nominated representative)

                                                            - Local (DVM)

 

            2.         Timescale (CVO nominated representative)

 

            3.         Risk assessment (CVO nominated representative/DVM)

 

            4.         Communications objectives (Director of Communications)

 

            5.         Stakeholder Handling (national and local) (AHWD, DVM)

 

            6.         Agreed lines to take/press notice (Director of Communications)

 

7.         Time of release and action points (CVO Nominated representative)

 

2.10    The following then take responsibility for informing externally at an agreed time:

 

-           DVM: individual farmer (DVM to alert CD/regional GNN as soon as the individual is told and before informing other external groups);

 

-           DVM: Emergency planning departments of relevant local authorities, local police force and the Environment Agency;

 

-           DVM: local stakeholders and farmers;

 

-           AHWD:  NFU

 

-           DG OSD:  CCS, RCU and EA

 

-           CD/GNN: media, website, helpline, intranet (and other internal communications to Defra staff), GNN

 

2.11    News Releases are drafted by AHWD in conjunction with CD and must be sent to all internal principals (particularly the DVM) before being released externally.

 

2.12    Questions about test results and timing of their delivery should be addressed to the CVO nominated contact.

 


RED - INITIAL ACTION ON CONFIRMATION OF FMD

 

2.13    If the suspected case is subsequently confirmed by the CVO as having disease or if the risk assessment indicates, the alert state will immediately be raised to ‘Red’ and the following action will take place:-

 

7        the Head of Animal Movements and Exotic Diseases Division will notify Defra Ministers and senior officials, other government departments, devolved administrations and agencies and organisations directly affected;

 

7        the DCVO (policy) will inform the European Commission, OIE, and national veterinary organisations;

 

7        the Director of the SVS will authorise the establishment of a Local Disease Control Centre (LDCC) and the National Disease Control Centre.  SVS Instructions contain detailed plans for their establishment and resourcing;

 

7        the Head of SVS Contingency Planning Division will notify all DVMs and Heads of Veterinary Services, nominated heads of NDCC cells from within Defra, those who will be invited to be represented in the NDCC, and nominated RODs and DOMs;

 

7        the Head of SVS CP Division will alert the vaccination contractors and put them on stand-by, subject to further direction from the Strategic Group.  As soon as the FMD strain responsible for the outbreak is identified and it has been confirmed that one of the available vaccines will afford protection, the Head of AMED Division will instruct the relevant contractor to formulate vaccine;

 

7        an Emergency Management Board will be convened as soon as possible and will take a decision on triggering the Civil Contingencies Committee on the basis of emerging information about the disease;

 

7        other Government Departments, the Armed Forces, operational partners and key local stakeholders such as local authorities will be notified as soon as possible.

 

NB.  Detail of who should contact whom is set out at Annex F.

 

2.14    Action to be taken to establish the NDCC and relevant LDCC and to control the disease is set out in detail in the SVS instructions and the AHDO contingency plans.


2.15    The following policies will be applied on confirmation of FMD:

(Note: The first case will be confirmed by Laboratory Test)

 

7        A GB wide national movement ban of susceptible species will be put in place immediately.

 

7        Export licences for animals and animal products will be withdrawn.

 

7        Diseased and other susceptible animals on infected premises will be culled as soon as possible, within 24 hours of report.  Dangerous contacts will be culled as soon as possible.

 

7        Emergency Vaccination will immediately be considered as an option based upon emerging epidemiological and logistical factors.  If emergency vaccination is used it would be on the basis of vaccinate-to-live wherever possible.

 

7        A Protection Zone will be imposed with a radius of 3km around the Infected Premises.  Regular veterinary patrol visits of all premises with susceptible livestock within this area will take place.

 

7        A Restricted Infected Area will be declared with a minimum radius of 10km around infected premises.  This will require increased levels of biosecurity on farms, cleansing and disinfection (C&D) for vehicles, people and machinery moving on/off farms and movement controls for animals, animal products, feed and bedding.

 

7        Disposal by incineration would be implemented immediately with rendering as the next option and other disposal routes being available as an additional resource subject to environmental, land use planning and public health considerations.

 

7        Footpaths would only be closed on Infected Premises and within the 3km Protection Zone, (A Veterinary Risk Assessment and Protocol for Rights of Way closure is at Annex E).

 

2.16    Further action will depend on the circumstances of a particular outbreak and on scientific and veterinary advice.  The Decision Tree (Annex B) will be followed in deciding what action to take.  The Animal Health Act 1981, as amended by the Animal Health Act 2002, lays a duty on the Secretary of State to consider vaccination as a means of preventing the spread of the disease.  Wherever possible this would be on the basis of emergency vaccinate-to-live.  Consultation with interested parties is currently underway, in the context of negotiations on the EU FMD Directive, to address technical, commercial and communications issues around emergency vaccination.  The reasons for a decision not to vaccinate would be explained before further measures were introduced.

 

 

 

2.17    Additional strategies include:

 

7        culling of other susceptible livestock exposed to the disease (e.g. premises under virus plumes, premises contiguous to the infected premises); and

 

7        pre-emptive or ‘firebreak’ culling of animals not on infected premises, not dangerous contacts or not necessarily exposed to the disease, in order to prevent the wider spread of the disease outwith an area.

 

2.18    The “Decision Tree” for disease control strategies against FMD sets out the factors the Government will take into account in deciding which strategy to adopt in order to control and eradicate the disease.  The Decision Tree is at Annex B.

 

2.19    There is also a Disease Control (Slaughter) Protocol for use in the event of a pre-emptive cull as at Annex C.

 

This protocol sets out the requirements that must be followed if a pre-emptive cull is to be undertaken.

 

Further Action

 

2.20    Once FMD is confirmed the main elements of this plan are brought into action. 

 

Section 3 sets out the resources that would be deployed;

Section 4 describes the key operations that have a central input;

Section 5 sets out the main elements of the Communications Plan;

Section 6 describes the strategic organisations and structures;

Section 7 the tactical organisation; and

Section 8 the operational plan. 

 

These last two are augmented by the SVS instructions and the local office contingency plans.

 

 


 

 

SECTION 3 - Resources

 

 

 

INVOLVEMENT OF THE ARMED FORCES

 

3.1       Immediately a case of FMD is confirmed, the Director General Operations and Service Delivery will contact the MOD Home and Special Forces Secretariat in order to notify them of the outbreak so that, if necessary, aid can be sought with the minimum delay.  If it were decided that it was necessary to seek aid from the armed forces, aid would be provided under the ‘Military Aid to the Civil Authorities’ (MACA) arrangements, subject to other Armed Forces commitments.  The Armed Forces may provide assistance with logistic capability and it may be appropriate to deploy at both tactical (Tactical command) and operational (Operational command) levels.

 

3.2       Contact details for MOD Home and Special Forces Secretariat can be found at Annex F.

 

3.3       The Armed Forces will have their own command and control structure with overall co-ordination of their effort being controlled by Armed Forces HQ Land.  It is not appropriate for regional staff to approach Army Brigade headquarters directly.  All requests for initial assistance must be passed through NDCC.

 

3.4       Brigade Commanders will take direction (but not commands) from RODs/DVMs and will need to be given clear aims and objectives.  The local military commander will decide how best to use their troops based on these aims and the directions received.  Military Liaison Officers should be posted to LDCCs to take on a local strategic co-ordination function.

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

 

Veterinary Personnel
 
Identification of UK government veterinary personnel

 

3.5       On authority from the Director SVS individual veterinary staff will be alerted with immediate effect and deployed as instructed by Divisional Veterinary Managers.  (SVS instructions and local office contingency plans expand on these arrangements).  In addition, vets from the following sources will be contacted by VRD with a view to securing additional assistance:

7        Retired veterinary staff

7        Veterinary staff from Defra agencies and other government departments.

 


Identification of non-government veterinary personnel

 

3.6       The great majority of private vets who worked for Defra during the FMD epidemic of 2001 did so as Temporary Veterinary Inspectors (TVIs).  The Department has temporarily stopped appointing TVIs pending the introduction of a new flexible employment contract.  In the interim, practising private vets in Great Britain would be engaged as Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVIs) to increase the numbers of LVIs that are already engaged.  These arrangements are likely to be refined following the current Review of LVIs.  Other private veterinary surgeons in GB and abroad would be engaged as casual veterinary staff.

 

Identification of overseas government veterinary personnel

 

3.7       If overseas government veterinary resource is deemed necessary following risk assessment and epidemiological advice, the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) will send a formal request to the International Animal Health Emergency Reserve countries.  The CVO will also send a formal request to EU Member States if necessary.  Induction briefing for incoming veterinary surgeons will be arranged at London HQ through the Veterinary Resource Division.  Training will be provided at Local DCCs.

 

Identification of Regional Operations Directors (RODs) and Divisional Operations Managers (DOMs)

 

3.8       Members of the Senior Civil Service will be appointed for three years as contingency Regional Operations Directors (RODs) to take up post in the event of an outbreak and lead the LDCCs.  They will be allocated to one of the three SVS regions in England.  SVS Contingency Planning Division will maintain a list of RODs (Annex G).

 

3.9       When an Amber alert is declared the Director of the SVS will alert the Head of Veterinary Service for that SVS Region to be on immediate standby to take up post as ROD.  The contingency ROD for that region will also be alerted to replace the HVS as soon as possible to lead the LDCC so that the HVS can be transferred to strengthen veterinary management at HQ.

 

3.10    Grade 6s (or Grade 7s on temporary promotion) will be appointed for three years as contingency Divisional Operations Managers to take up posts in the event of an outbreak and work beside DVMs to manage the administrative (non-veterinary) part of the operation.  Like RODs, they will be allocated to one of the three SVS regions in England.  Upon confirmation of a case, a DOM for the relevant region will be alerted by SVS CPD to take up post as soon as possible.  SVS CPD will maintain a list of DOMs annexed to this plan (Annex G).  Similar arrangements are being set up in Scotland and Wales.

 

3.11    During their period of appointment, the contingency RODs and DOMs will spend 5 days a year training, developing effective links with AHDOs, DVMs and key regional stakeholders and taking part in contingency planning exercises.

 

Key Administrative, Field & Technical Personnel

 

3.12    The National Disease Control Centre (NDCC) and Local Disease Control Centres (LDCCs) will require access to middle managers who are able to take up key positions immediately on confirmation of disease.  Key posts have been identified in the NDCC & LDCCs, together with job descriptions and Day 1 tasks.

 

3.13    The Director SVS, through HR Services Division, will maintain a list of Defra staff who have the required skills and experience to take up key positions in the NDCC.  These individuals will be called upon as soon as disease is confirmed and are expected to take up post as soon as possible (within 24 hours of request).

 

3.14    Staff in an AHDO in which an LDCC is being set up, and in the SVS more widely, will be the first to be called upon if FMD is confirmed.  They will be expected to take up post as soon as possible while further staff resources are called in.

 

3.15    Key administrative personnel will be expected to take part in contingency testing exercises.  This should be written into their job descriptions and work objectives.

 

General field, technical and administrative personnel

 

3.16    The NDCC and LDCCs will require immediate access to general field and administrative staff to support key personnel and veterinary colleagues in the eradication of disease.

 

3.17    The Director General of Operations and Service Delivery will seek Management Board authority to require the release of staff from Defra and Defra Agencies to work on emergency sites. The Management Board will provide clear direction to Divisions, Agencies and work groups, in order that non-essential staff can volunteer their services and be released quickly.  First call will be on those staff on the Defra Emergency Volunteers Register.

 

3.18    Human Resources Services Division will co-ordinate action on the redeployment of administrative staff from the Emergency Volunteers Register, and other staff, to the NDCC and to LDCCs.  The NDCC Personnel Cell will maintain an overview of numbers, provide terms of appointment for administrative staff in the regions, liaise with DWP and act as a central point, in close liaison with the SVS Personnel Unit at Worcester, for HR issues both in London and the Regions.

 

3.19    The SVS Personnel Unit will advise on Human Resource services for LDCCs and will provide one or more HR trained personnel to assist in setting up local HR teams.  They will also maintain quality control and provide policy guidance to local managers and HR teams on HR issues.  They will also be responsible for liaising with the LDCC personnel points, monitoring national field-based resources and co-ordinating national veterinary recruitment exercises.

 

3.20    Additional support staff may need to be drafted in from other government departments.  Use of the protocols set out in a central Memorandum of Understanding on Mutual Aid and the Redeployment of Human Resources will be triggered if necessary, and the Director General Operations and Service Delivery, through the Permanent Secretary, will contact the Civil Contingencies Secretariat to request assistance with additional staffing.  Concurrently, Regional Operations Directors will liaise with Government Office Directors to seek additional assistance in locating further staff.

 

3.21    Having first sought clearance from the Director General Operations and Service Delivery [or Director SVS], RODs may contact Regional Directors of  Pluscentreplus (Department for Work and Pensions) in order to recruit staff directly on short-term contracts.  In this instance, guidance on contractual arrangements should be sought from the personnel cell in the NDCC and the personnel expertise that may be available in the LDCC.  The Operational Support Secretariat of Jobcentre Plus (Department of Work and Pensions) may assist in brokering these arrangements and will be invited to send a representative to the NDCC.  (See Annex F - Contact List for details).

 

3.22    Additional technical staff from the following sources will also be considered:

 

7        Retired SVS technical staff

7        Veterinary students from veterinary colleges

7        Agricultural students

 

DEFRA LEGAL SERVICES

 

3.23    Legal Services Directorate General must be instructed at the start of an outbreak.  It is important to have an established system for the handling of claims for matters such as compensation for slaughtered animals and unintentional damage to premises.

 

3.24    A Legal Liaison Unit will be immediately established in the NDCC to co-ordinate actions and evidence gathering between LSDG and the NDCC and the LDCCs.  Additionally, a Legal Liaison Officer will be posted in each LDCC.  Administrative staff will fill both the NDCC Legal Liaison Unit and the Legal Liaison Officers posts.  LSDG will provide lawyers to the NDCC on a rota basis.

 

3.25    LSDG hold all templates for Orders and must be approached immediately a Declaratory Order is required.

 

VACCINATION TEAMS

 

Vets and team members responsible for vaccination

 

3.26    Upon confirmation of disease, ADAS, the current contractor responsible for emergency vaccination will be notified by the Head of SVS CP Division to set its plans in action to establish the required numbers of vets and team members within the agreed time.

 

Lay Vaccinators

 

3.27    To ensure that emergency vaccination could be implemented without delay in any future outbreak, Defra is currently making arrangements, subject to public consultation, for the use of lay vaccinators to be permitted by orders made under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 and the Medicines Act 1968.

 

INVOLVEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS AND OPERATIONAL PARTNERS

 

3.28    High level involvement of other government departments, executive agencies and stakeholders is defined in Section 6 - the Strategic Level section of this plan.  This will be confirmed by the Civil Contingencies Committee (Officials) and may change as necessary.  The Head of SVS Contingency Planning Division will ensure that representatives of other government departments, operational partners and those affected by the disease and measures taken to control it are invited to form part of the NDCC.

 

3.29    DVMs will engage with local stakeholders as part of their routine emergency-preparedness arrangements and, where possible, include them in the planning and implementation of regular local exercises.  DVMs must establish strong links with their local Police Force strategic (Gold) command as this is recognised by all key local agencies as the co-ordination point for emergency response.  It is also essential that DVMs have established regular contact with their Local Authority Emergency Planning Officers, Trading Standards Officers, Environment Agency Emergency Planners, the Government Office Emergencies Team and the Health Protection Agency.  All these agencies must know and understand the FMD contingency plans (including relevant sections of SVS instructions and local office contingency plans) and the DVM must have established their capabilities, roles and responsibilities in the event of an outbreak.  It is also important that all those that would be affected an outbreak including representatives of the farming industry, rural businesses, local community groups and those concerned with promoting tourism are engaged and involved, as appropriate in exercises.

 

3.30    The regular animal health stakeholder meetings will be upgraded in the event of an outbreak under the chairmanship of the Animal Health Minister [or as necessary by the Chief Veterinary Officer or the Director Animal Health deputising for him] and meet more frequently.  Representatives of key stakeholder organisations from outside the agriculture and the food sectors will be invited to attend in order to embrace wider countryside interests.  The possibility of having separate sub-groups to look at particular issues in greater depth (e.g. trade, countryside access, tourism, etc.) will be kept under review, according to the scale of the outbreak.

 

TRAINING AND EXERCISES

 

Veterinary training

 

3.31    All new veterinary entrants to the SVS attend a one-day course on exotic viral diseases at the Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright, in addition to general and specific training related to all their work areas.  This includes training in notifiable disease procedures.  Selected individuals also attend specific post-graduate training, e.g. in epidemiology.  Courses are held, as required, to ensure adequate numbers of trained people across the country.

 

Private Sector Veterinary Training

 

3.32    The current review of Local Veterinary Inspectors (LVIs) referred to at paragraph 3.6 is considering the enhanced training of LVIs both in everyday and emergency situations.

 

AHDO training in key emergency procedures

 

3.33    DVMs will identify individual Animal Health Divisional Office (AHDO) staff to undertake key emergency roles in line with the job roles outlined in SVS instructions.  They will ensure these staff are fully trained and equipped to undertake their respective roles and that their ‘everyday’ objectives include reference to the key responsibilities required.

 

Induction training

 

3.34    Managers must ensure that new staff recruited into LDCCs or the NDCC during an outbreak receive induction training covering at least their roles and health and safety procedures.  The Director SVS and DVMs will ensure their permanent staff are familiar with this contingency plan, the relevant local office contingency plans, SVS instructions, and business process maps.

 

3.35    For key personnel, this will centre on the job descriptions within this plan.  Desk instructions for key posts will be available in AHDOs.  For other individuals recruited to support an LDCC, a brief outline job description must be drafted.  Managers must take time to describe the jobholder’s duties, offer support and review the job role regularly.  Managers should consider establishing a ‘buddying’ system, whereby new recruits work alongside existing jobholders to learn their job.

 

3.36    ADAS will train vets and team members recruited to carry out vaccination in on-farm procedure and bio-security procedures.  Additionally, specialised training in vaccination, tagging and data recording will be provided.  All external contractors will be provided with, and will make themselves familiar with, Biosecurity Protocols.  All local recruits to vaccination teams must meet, and sign that they comply with, specified criteria including no contact with susceptible livestock for 3 days prior to starting the programme, during the programme and for 3 days after completion.

 

Media Training

 

3.37    DVMs/RODs/HsVS should already have received appropriate media training, in order to deal effectively with the intense media interest surrounding an outbreak.  If not, a short two day course, organised by Communications Directorate in conjunction with an outside training company, uses broadcast journalists and a film crew to enable participants to deliver professional standard broadcast interviews.

 

Contingency Planning Exercises

 

3.38    This plan and the detailed instructions and local plans will be regularly tested at both local and national levels through simulation exercises using the key personnel identified.  Stakeholders will be involved in these exercises.  It is intended that all stakeholders should be aware of Defra’s emergency procedures and be fully involved in their on-going development.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY AND STAFF WELFARE

 

3.39    The Defra Departmental Health and Safety Unit (DHSU) and VRD Safety Team are the key safety professionals who must be involved in all aspects of operational planning.  They will ensure that all LDCCs have a named safety professional to provide competent advice at all stages of operations; as far as is operationally possible this individual will be located in the LDCC and it is expected that provision will be made for this.  DVMs and RODs must ensure that the competent safety person is included as part of their management team.

 

3.40    The Departmental Health and Safety Manager will operate as part of the Operations Cell in the NDCC, providing health and safety advice at the strategic level.

 

3.41    All staff should be made aware of Defra’s Welfare Service which can provide support and guidance in individual cases of stress of hardship.

 

3.42    A strategic health and safety plan in support of these arrangements has been produced by Defra and is detailed in Annex L of this document.  All relevant personnel must follow these arrangements.

 

3.43    As part of the management of the vaccination operation ADAS (as the current contractor) will establish a Health and Safety Team.  This will consist of a Manager and 2 other trained H&S consultants.  This team will produce risk assessments for pre-vaccination visits by vets, for farm vaccinators, on handling facilities and maintain the necessary documentation to accompany this.  ADAS will comply with best practice and all relevant provisions, whether statutory or otherwise, relating to health and safety at work.

 

ACCOMMODATION

 

Access to accommodation, IT and telephony infrastructure

 

3.44    DVMs will identify and regularly review the availability of potential LDCC sites in liaison with BEM Division.  BEMD has in place Facilities Management Contracts covering all of England and Wales through which temporary and other accommodation can be provided.  DVMs should also maintain details of suppliers and contractors of temporary accommodation.

 

3.45    Additionally, a range of suitable sites are currently being investigated for use as vaccination centres.  In doing so, consideration will be given to the following factors:

 

7        good road access to the target area(s) and to any satellite centres - where possible, within the target area;

7        appropriate security systems (day and night);

7        parking;

7        office accommodation for management and administrative staff;

7        appropriate IT and telecoms facilities;

7        secure refrigerated storage facilities for vaccine;

7        storage facilities for equipment (vaccination kits, personal protection equipment, footbaths, buckets, tagging and inspection equipment, etc.;

7        facilities for mixing, storage and safe disposal of disinfectant;

7        suitable area for plunge disinfection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and subsequent drying;

7        suitable area for vaccination team dispatch.

 

3.46    Modular office accommodation will also be made available, depending in circumstances, on a call off basis for use as vaccination centres if required.  It is envisaged that each vaccination centre will be accompanied by smaller satellite centres that will exist on a smaller scale.

 

3.47    The National Disease Control Centre will be in London.  A room in Defra’s building at 1A Page Street is equipped with the necessary facilities needed to establish the control centre immediately an outbreak is confirmed.  However, it is realised that in the event of a rapid escalation of an outbreak it would be necessary to have access to more space.  In this event, BEMD could relocate the NDCC to the 7th and 8th floors as they have the requisite infrastructure in place.  BEMD will therefore be kept fully informed of the likely escalation of the disease in order that they can enact plans for the relocation of staff and the provision of adequate desking, telephony, etc.

 


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & DATA SYSTEMS

 

3.48    The provision of IT hardware and corporate software (Defra EDEN) is the responsibility of Information Technology Directorate (ITD).  Additional hardware and software can be quickly supplied through arrangements with Defra’s IT partners.  ITD also has detailed plans to ensure IT resilience and Business Continuity.

 

Disease Control System (DCS)

 

3.49    The FMD Disease Control System (DCS) is the key Management Information System to be used in the event of an outbreak in the near future.  It provides the system for recording all actions taken to control the disease in relation to each premises affected and for providing reports on the progress of the disease and its management.  DVMs will ensure that all their AHDO staff are familiar with the functionality of DCS, requesting additional staff training from SVS IT Branch as appropriate.

 

3.50    Preventative contingency measures for system failure of FMD DCS are in place at the national level.  These include the use of a cluster server which enables mirroring between two web servers and databases.  This will ensure that should one fail, the second will take over.  In addition, the back up routine that is in place means that the risk of data loss in cases of total failure is minimal.

 

3.51    A system for the tracing of animals - VTVS, updated and enhanced during the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease to take account of vehicle and personnel movements, is used for tracings required on a day to day basis.  A project to review further tracings work has been initiated, with a view to encompassing both endemic and exotic diseases.

 

3.52    An improved Exotic Disease Control System (ExDCS), that will enable the task of dealing with any serious animal disease outbreak to be undertaken as efficiently as possible and which will support procedures to assist the veterinary surveillance team in proactive measures, is being developed.

 

3.53    The goal of the ExDCS project is to create a system to collect, collate and validate animal disease data.  The system will facilitate the process of exotic notifiable disease management and control, provide reliable management information to users at all levels and inform Government policy on animal health and welfare.  The system is being designed to deal with more than one concurrent disease.

 

3.54    The ExDCS project aims to interface with other Defra projects currently under development ensuring reliable and non-duplication of data.

 


Financial System

 

3.55    A project team is developing a generic financial system which will ensure that financial information is collected in the most efficient manner to meet accountancy requirements and the requirements of auditors.  This system will be operational during ‘peacetime’, therefore ensuring staff familiarity, with the facility to ramp-up during an emergency.  An interim facility will be in place by summer 2003 and in the event of an outbreak could be brought into use before then with the new system being developed thereafter.

 

3.56    The new system will be part of the Defra Corporate Finance System and will be installed in all AHDOs to be used in peace time for normal business.

 

PROCUREMENT

 

General - Procurement and Commercial Contracting Contingency Plan

 

3.57    Detailed instructions and guidance on procurement and commercial contracting covering the acquisition of goods, works and services; and the role of the Procurement and Contracts Division (PCD) can be found in the PCD Contingency Plan which is available for internal use.

 

3.58    PCD are responsible for ensuring that robust, value for money contracts are let and mobilised for goods, services and works requirements including their contract management and forensic examination.

 

3.59    The PCD contingency plan provides contact details for all nominated PCD personnel.  The Head of SVS Contingency Planning Division will notify the Director of Purchasing and Supply if alert state AMBER is declared so that the appropriate resources can be placed on standby.  Sources of supply for these procurement personnel have been identified by PCD and these resources can be called upon in the event of a notifiable disease outbreak or other emergency situation.

 

3.60    The PCD contingency plan sets out the procurement resources that will be mobilised at tactical level to form Procurement Emergency Response Teams (PERT) under the direction of Defra’s Director of Purchasing and Supply or his/her nominated representatives.  PCD will provide a procurement cell in the NDCC within 8 hours.

 

3.61    PCD will ensure that best practice guidance is available to AHDOs and LDCCs covering the requirements from the period from confirmation of the outbreak until the PERT team arrives, including the triggering of contingency contracts; authorisation and use of emergency purchase orders and procurement cards; and contract management and letting. 

 

3.62    Within 72 hours PCD will provide a PERT team in an LDCC to manage the procurement and commercial activities for that office.  The PERT unit will include a Commercial/Procurement Manager, Contracts Manager, Purchasing Manager, Quantity/Claims Surveyor, Field Store Manager and Field Manager.  Forensic accountants will be engaged prior to receipt and approval of supplier/contractor invoices.

 

3.63    All contracts and commercial arrangements put in place after declaration of an emergency situation will be let in accordance with delegated authorities determined by Defra’s Director of Finance in consultation with Defra’s Director of Purchasing and Supply.

 

National/Regional/Local Call-Off Contracts and Supply Contingency Arrangements

 

3.64    PCD and AHDOs will put in place national/regional/local contingency contracts and supply contingency arrangements to meet all foreseeable requirements of an emergency.  These suppliers will be vetted and subjected to regular review and appraisal by PCD to ensure their validity in the event of an outbreak.

 

3.65    These contracts and arrangements will be comprehensive in coverage of all the relevant supply chains and include slaughter and disposal, shepherds and gatherers and ancillary equipment; carcass pick-up; preliminary C&D including detoxification and mobile detoxification units; slurry treatment, management and disposal; lagoon and environmental protection measures; electrical works and technical services associated with discrete supply chains; e.g. dairy engineers.  A list of call-off contracts and contingency supply arrangements is available for internal use.

 

3.66    Supplementary lists of preferred and vetted suppliers for use in an emergency situation are available for internal use.  These suppliers are a back-up to the contingency contracts already in place and are likely to be engaged where a notifiable disease cannot be confined either in number of outbreaks or geographically.  The PERT team will be responsible for putting robust contracts in place with these suppliers should the extent of the outbreak require additional supply.

 

3.67    For each AHDO a list of transport companies is provided indicating the number and type of vehicles that the companies have available for immediate use together with the companies’ ability to scale up supply within defined timescales.

 

3.68    Details of contracts placed and preferred vetted suppliers available to AHDOs is on the PCD webpage for internal use.  DVMs should liaise closely with PCD to ensure timely, scaleable and appropriate supply arrangements in the event of a notifiable disease outbreak.  PCD emergency contacts and their details are available for internal use.

 


FINANCIAL CONTROL

 

NDCC Head of FMD Finance

 

3.69    NDCC Head of FMD Finance will be appointed by the Defra Finance Director immediately following confirmation of disease to be responsible for establishing the FMD Finance Team in the NDCC and for the provision of a Finance Manager to each LDCC.  They are also responsible for issuing guidance, in accordance with departmental policy, on accounting policies, financial databases, audit trails, desk instructions and checklists on financial controls including:

 

7        Roles and responsibilities of Finance Managers (LDCC and NDCC) - and reporting responsibilities which are set out in SVS instructions;

7        Authorisation levels for payments, delegations, management checking, write-off, over payment procedures in accordance with the department’s Finance Manual and Government Accounting;

7        Policy on the retention of records;

7        Chart of accounts, cost centre codes and objective codes;

7        Fraud guidelines in accordance with the department’s policy including the process of dealing with allegations of fraud;

7        Budgeting, estimates and the monitoring of expenditure;

7        Liaison with the National Audit Office (NAO), European Union (EU) and internal auditors;

7        Liaison with the Procurement Team;

7        Liaison with Defra’s Accountancy Services Division (ASD) and Director of Finance and HM Treasury;

7        Provision of regular financial information.

 

Finance Managers, LDCCs

 

3.70    LDCC Finance Managers are responsible for managing all financial activity in the LDCC and for providing financial advice to the Regional Operations Director (ROD) and Divisional Operations Manager (DOM) including:

 

7        Authorising certified contractor invoices for payment;

7        Ensuring suitable records are maintained relating to all financial transactions;

7        Authorising travel & subsistence claims, accommodation costs, other requests for re-imbursement of staff costs and TVI fees;

7        Arranging financial procedures training of finance staff and managers within LDCC;

7        Initial Scrutiny of Compensation Claims for slaughter and for items seized and destroyed.

 


Role of Finance Officers

 

3.71    NDCC Head of FMD Finance will ensure close communication between FMD Finance, Accounting Services Division, Defra Finance Director and HM Treasury.  There will be regular meetings of all appropriate members of FMD Finance, ASD and Procurement and Contracts Division (PCD).  These meetings are the forum to raise issues (e.g.- Overpayments, VAT) which require financial policy and procedural advice.

 

3.72    On confirmation of an outbreak, Head of FMD Finance will submit a request for funding to HM Treasury via Financial Management & Information Division (FMID) and the Finance Director.  Both Finance Director and HM Treasury will be provided with a financial report on actual expenditure incurred on a regular basis.

 

3.73    During an outbreak, there will be initial meetings with the National Audit Office, EU Auditors and Defra auditors to:

 

a)         inform them of the role and responsibilities of the teams involved in the eradication process;

b)         explain the approach to tackle the emergency situation.

 

3.74    FMD Finance is responsible for providing regular reports to the auditors on actual expenditure incurred during the outbreak and for responding to audit reports as appropriate, submitting EU claims for reimbursement of costs (in accordance with the EU Regulations) and communicating with EU auditors as and when required.

 

EQUIPMENT AND STORES

 

National minimum stocking levels

 

3.75    Minimum contingency stocks, designed to cope with the stores requirements of 100 Veterinary Inspectors, will be held at VLA Weybridge.  Under the terms of the Service Level Agreement, these items can be provided where required within defined time limits.

 

Divisional minimum stocking levels

 

3.76    Each AHDO is required to hold or have immediate access to sufficient equipment to deal with up to 10 disease outbreaks in the first 48 hours, including provision for equipping up to 20 additional Veterinary Inspectors.  Stock levels are managed by designated local staff, who have day to day responsibility for monitoring availability and serviceability of stores.  They will be responsible for using the generic stock control database, once it has been rolled out.

 


Stores to supply vaccination teams

 

3.77    Stores of equipment to supply vaccination teams and vaccination centres are maintained equally between two sites.  At present, there is enough equipment to supply 50 vaccination teams (each consisting of a 1 vaccinator, 1 ear tag reader/tagger and 1 ear tag recorder) - the initial number of teams required to be provided by ADAS under the terms of the present contract with provision for this number to be ramped up depending on circumstances.  Call-off contracts are in place to obtain additional equipment (e.g. additional vaccine guns and needles).  This equipment will be subject to quality control checks in accordance with a quality management protocol by stores managers.

 

3.78    Call off contracts for mobile cattle/sheep/pig handling facilities are currently being put in place.

 

3.79    Upon the establishment of vaccination centre(s) Defra will arrange, through its contract with a transport firm, for sufficient equipment to be dispatched to the vaccination centre for use by ADAS by the fourth day after the first case has been confirmed.

 

 


 

 

SECTION 4 - Key Operations

 

 

 

EMERGENCY VACCINATION

 

Introduction

 

4.1       There are various drivers which will contribute towards the decision on whether to adopt an emergency vaccination strategy against FMD, and if so whether the animals should subsequently be killed or not.  The Government’s preferred approach is that emergency vaccination should be on the basis of ‘vaccinate to live’ wherever possible.  The full range of options and the factors which the Government will take into consideration in the event of a future outbreak are contained in full in the Decision Tree.  This covers the consideration to be given to rare breeds and zoo animals.

 

Current operational arrangements

 

4.2       During the 2001 Foot and Mouth disease outbreak ADAS were commissioned to develop a programme for the emergency vaccination of cattle in parts of Cumbria and Devon.  ADAS has since been retained to provide operational support for emergency FMD vaccination (vets and vaccination teams working under State Veterinary Service direction) until such time as Defra is able to let a formal contract to cover this operation - probably in early Autumn 2003.  The following arrangements therefore provide an interim framework for implementation, which can be amended to form a specific implementation plan dependent on each set of circumstances as necessary.

 

Timing

 

4.3       The present arrangements provide for a 9 day lead in time, although arrangements are in hand for this to be reduced to a 5 day lead in.  As emergency vaccination is to be considered as an option from the start of any future FMD outbreak, ADAS will be placed on standby by the Head of SVS Contingency Planning Division as soon as disease is confirmed, at which time they will recruit, train and locate teams to be ready to commence vaccination.  Within this time period, the particular strain of the FMD virus would need to be identified (up to two days) and the vaccine would need to be formulated (four days) ready for dispatch to the vaccination centres.

 

4.4       Veterinary advice to Ministers will be based on epidemiological evidence and it is unlikely to be immediately available.  It is probable that the time necessary for veterinary assessment of epidemiological data, the use of the Decision Tree and the development of advice on the strategic deployment of vaccination means that it is unlikely that vaccination will start five days after the first outbreak.

 

Operational Process

 

4.5       This is set out in full at Annex D.

 

ANIMAL WELFARE

 

4.6       Consideration will be given to setting up, at earliest opportunity, an animal welfare forum, chaired by a Minister, with representatives of the RSPCA, Compassion in World Farming and the Humane Slaughter Association.  This would enable points of specific welfare concern to be brought readily and quickly to Ministers’ attention and Ministers to explain the implications for welfare of their disease control policies.

 

4.7       Provisions for ensuring the welfare of animals on-farm, at markets or in transit (at the time of movement controls being imposed) are detailed in SVS Instructions Chapters 31-34.  Slaughter or killing must be carried out in accordance with the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 (Inset 31 refers).  Provisions for emergency slaughter on farm for poor welfare are detailed in SVS Instructions, Chapter 32.G.  Procedures for slaughter/killing for disease control purposes are detailed in SVS Instructions Chapter 3 Section L.

 

4.8       Animal Movement Licensing Unit hold suitable licence templates for the movement of animals and instructions for their issue and use if movement restrictions are imposed.  Animal Welfare Policy Division holds copies of advice to stock-keepers to assist them in maintaining welfare if movement restrictions are imposed.

 

4.9       The needs of animals and their welfare will be given early consideration in the event of a disease outbreak or emergency.

 

4.10    Where possible animals should be kept alive and healthy where they are.  This is first of all the responsibility of the farmer, but there may be a need for Government assistance possibly in the form of a fodder scheme and/or licensed movement scheme.  Any animal welfare disposal scheme would be an option of very last resort as it is clearly undesirable to slaughter animals unless absolutely necessary.  The Government would not offer compensation for animals slaughtered under such a scheme, but would provide free collection and disposal.  The Head of Livestock Strategy Division in consultation with the Heads of Animal Welfare Policy Division and Animal Welfare Veterinary Division will examine the options for such schemes and looking at plans for implementing them.

 

VALUATION

 

4.11    Since 2001 a new list of valuers has been approved to undertake livestock valuations on behalf of Defra.  This list is maintained by the SVS and reviewed annually.  Each valuer has been sent instructions for carrying out valuations.  In the event of an outbreak of FMD, a letter will be sent to all these valuers notifying them of the outbreak and enclosing the latest version of Defra’s instructions for carrying out valuations.

 

4.12    LDCCs would contact individual valuers on the list as necessary to deal with each premises where compulsory slaughter is to take place.  No other valuers will be used.

 

4.13    In the event of an animal disease outbreak, Animal Movements and Exotic Disease Division will call upon the services of the four Monitor Valuers who have been appointed (these appointments will be reviewed regularly, at least every 3 years).  Initially the Monitor Valuers will attend Defra offices in London to advise on further instructions and guidance to issue to valuers (reflecting species affected, area etc.) to try to ensure uniformity in valuations and fairness to both livestock owners and taxpayers.  Depending on the extent of the outbreak the Monitor Valuers could be situated in London or in/near LDCCs.

 

4.14    A review of all the animal disease compensation arrangements is being undertaken with a view to rationalisation and simplification.  Part of this process will be to look at the case for compulsory standard valuations.  This would remove the need for individual valuation in many or most cases.  Such a system would help speed up the slaughtering process and would ensure a greater degree of uniformity in animal valuation.

 

RESTRICTED INFECTED AREAS

 

4.15    A Restricted Infected Area (RIA) will be declared with a minimum radius of 10km around infected premises.  This will require increased levels of biosecurity on farms, C&D for vehicles, people and machinery moving on/off farms and movement controls for animals, animal products, feed and bedding.  Guidance on establishing a RIA, location of cleansing and disinfection sites, etc. is being developed with EA and local authority input for inclusion in SVS instructions.

 

BIOSECURITY GUIDANCE

 

4.16    Anyone coming into contact with livestock or their waste runs the risk of spreading animal diseases.  Biosecurity is the prevention of disease causing agents entering or leaving a livestock premises.  It involves a number of measures and protocols designed to prevent potential disease causing agents being spread from one premises to another.

 

4.17    Revised Biosecurity guidance which reflects the provisions of the Animal Health Act 2002 is currently out for consultation and can be found on the Defra website at:

www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/biosecurity/guidance.pdf

 

 

DISPOSAL

 

Disposal Hierarchy

 

4.18    The current disposal hierarchy is:-

 

1.         Commercial incineration (not air curtain incinerators)

2.         Rendering

3.         Licensed commercial landfill (may need direction from the Secretary of State)

 

4.19    This is a change from the Department of Health guidelines (published 24/04/2001) which set out an agreed disposal hierarchy as follows:-

 

1.         Rendering

2.         Commercial incineration (not air curtain incinerators)

3.         Licensed commercial landfill

4.         Pyre burning

5.         Mass burial at Defra-owned sites and On-farm burial

 

This is because of policy developments and increasing environmental constraints.

 

4.20    Decisions on disposal options will take into account assessments of risks from TSEs and latest SEAC guidance.

 

4.21    A number of strategies, such as emergency vaccination, are now in place which could reduce the numbers of animals to be disposed of in any future outbreak and this should mean that these three disposal routes would be sufficient.  Although mass pyres will not be used in the future, the use of alternative methods of disposal routes 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 incineration/rendering and licensed commercial landfill.  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.

 

4.22    Defra 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 relevant stakeholders, to take account of these issues.  New technologies and facilities will also be reviewed on a regular basis.

 

Incineration

 

4.23    Agreement in principle has been obtained with nine animal incinerator operators in England, Scotland and Wales, to dispose of FMD carcasses.  Contractual arrangements are being completed.

 

4.24    Incineration capacity is limited and will only be able to deal with small isolated outbreaks for the first few days of a new outbreak or disease recrudescence.

 

4.25    As soon as a decision to slaughter has been taken, or where slaughter is likely, the DVM or LDCC Disposals Manager must telephone:-

 

7        The disposal team in SVS Contingency Planning Division (which will become part of the NDCC);

7        The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) who, in consultation with the disposal team, will allocate the disposal outlet taking account of location, number and type of stock and spare capacity at each plant - see contacts below;

7        The national transport co-ordinator (If the call-off agreement for transport is to be used - see transport section below) who can, in the interim, manage the transport required (available at 24 hours notice).

 

4.26    The recipient DVM (for the disposal site) must be informed before the transport leaves the IP.

 

-     Transport must not leave the slaughter site until it has been fully cleansed and disinfected.  All areas must therefore continue to have access to detox units.

-     In the event of problems, a member of the Disposals team should be contacted - see contact details below.

-     Any queries related to biosecurity at disposal sites can be dealt with by Vet Ops based in the NDCC who will consult Veterinary Policy teams within HQ in consultation with the DVM.

-     The sending DVM must ensure that vehicles are properly cleansed and disinfected and that the haulage contractors and accompanying personnel follow strict biosecurity procedures.  All vehicles used must be sealed and leak-proof and accompanied by an escort.

 

4.27    DVMs will liaise with the relevant local authorities and EA (or SEPA) to agree access arrangements and monitoring requirements.

 

Rendering

 

4.28    A call-off agreement with a major rendering company has been agreed to ensure a minimum lead-in time should there be an outbreak of disease.  Additional capacity will be arranged in the event of a major outbreak, using the RPA as brokers.  Total weekly capacity in the order of 15,000 tonnes per week could be made available.  Transport will be provided separately through regional contractors with hauliers, renderers and the knacker industry.

 

4.29    DVMs will ensure they are aware which rendering facilities are available to them in the event of an animal disease outbreak.  The recipient DVM (for the disposal site) must be informed before the transport leaves the IP.

 

4.30    The arrangements and requirements in 4.19 and 4.20 above regarding liaison, communication, biosecurity and transport must also be followed.

 

Licensed Commercial Landfill sites

 

4.31    EU Animal By-Products regulation may preclude this option in 2003 and beyond, or limit the number of suitable landfill sites, although Defra is currently discussing a number of derogations with the European Commission.  The disposal team are discussing, in consultation with the EA, SEPA, ESA and local authorities, structured agreements and national operational protocols for the use of licensed landfill sites.  The Secretary of State may seek powers of direction for the use of commercial landfill sites in the event of an emergency.  Waste Management Division is responsible for drafting the necessary statutory instruments.

 

4.32    DVMs will ensure they are aware which licensed landfill facilities are available to them during an animal disease outbreak and liaise with EA (or SEPA) and local authorities to discuss access arrangements and monitoring requirements.

 

On-Farm Burial

 

4.33    If incineration and rendering capacity has been exhausted it may be necessary to consider on-farm burial.  In this event Defra will consult with EA (or SEPA) to ensure that no burial is undertaken until an appropriate risk assessment has been completed and that any burial is undertaken in accordance with the relevant EU and national regulations so as to minimise the risk of environmental and public health impact.

 
Pyre Burning

 

4.34    Pyre burning would not normally be considered and only in exceptional circumstances.  If it is decided that pyre burning has to be utilised on a limited basis, Defra will follow the guidelines developed by the Department of Health in 2001 together with the SVS instructions.  In preparing for pyre burning, Defra will consult with local authorities, the Health Protection Agency and EA (or SEPA), to ensure environmental and public health impacts are minimised.

 

Transport

 

4.35    In consultation with the disposal team, the local DVM and disposal manager will decide whether to use local transport contract arrangements or to utilise the transport call-off agreement in place with 2 national haulage companies.  The duty officer will deal with requests for transport.  On confirmation of an outbreak, a national transport logistics manager, supported by a regional transport manager(s), will be appointed and will take over responsibility for transport logistics and tasking from the local DVM.

 


SEROLOGY

 

Serology capacity - Surveillance

 

4.36    Serological surveillance may be carried out for a number of reasons, such as epidemiology, but its main use is likely to be as part of the surveillance of protection and surveillance zones following an outbreak, prior to declaring them free from disease.  Serology surveillance in support of lifting restrictions should not commence until at least 21 days following preliminary cleansing and disinfection of an infected premises.

 

4.37    Defra has an agreement with the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) that they will provide serological testing capacity for FMD on a contingency basis of 120,000 samples per week at three laboratories.  The first laboratory would be ready to start testing within 3 weeks with an initial capacity of 7,000 tests, 20,000 tests in the second week and reaching full capacity of 40,000 in the third week.  The second laboratory would be operational within 6 weeks and a third laboratory within 8 weeks with the same capacity build up.  Full capacity of 120,000 tests per week would be reached by the 10th week. 

 

4.38    The Institute for Animal Health (IAH) Pirbright provides the diagnostic testing service for FMD.  It also carries out additional tests (i.e. VNT) on positive or inconclusive serology samples submitted by VLA.

 

4.39    Personnel required to undertake blood sampling will be recruited and trained under the co-ordination of the Veterinary Resource Division.  Personnel could be drawn from veterinary/agricultural students and from local Job Centres.

 

Transport of samples

 

4.40    DVMs will ensure they have access to the best means of transporting blood samples during an animal disease outbreak as set out in SVS operational instructions.

 

RURAL STRESS ACTION PLAN WORKING GROUP

 

4.41    The Department recognises that any future outbreak may result in significant social, economic and personal emotional impact.  These issues will be addressed through consultation with the Rural Stress Action Plan Working Group to ensure that:

 

7        Contingency Plans are drawn up to include the ‘human dimension’ of an outbreak;

7        Provide for appropriate feedback and consultation during an outbreak to address issues that arise;

7        The issues of de-briefing and aftercare, relevant both to the individuals affected and to the staff involved in measures taken to control an outbreak are addressed.

 

4.42    Contacts will be made via the RSAP Working Group with support organisations at a local level and issues such as referral procedures, confidentiality and debriefing for staff addressed.

 

4.43    The Rural Stress Action Plan Working Group brings together, under Defra’s chairmanship, representatives of organisations that make an important contribution to the rural support sector, namely the Rural Stress Information Network (RSIN), Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, (RABI) Farm Crisis Network (FCN), Arthur Rank Centre (ARC), Samaritans, Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB), National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Tenant Farmers’ Association (TFA), Country Land and Business Association (CLA), Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU) and Department of Health (DoH).

 

4.44    This partnership, or combinations of the membership, is reproduced at the regional and local level to address the needs of the rural community including supporting those in distress.  County bases support “groups” are facilitated by RSIN and FCN, whose organisations and volunteer members provide information, signposting and, in some cases, telephone helplines.  The groups draw on the expertise of the wider partnerships that the network fosters, and there are various “entry points” for enquiries and assistance. 

 

4.45    Farming Help is the banner under which RSIN, RABI, FCN and Samaritans promote confidential help for all in the farming community, and contact with any of these via the national telephone numbers will offer callers a wide range of guidance, assistance and support.

 

4.46    Farmers and others in the rural community are increasingly aware of the support network, and some Defra staff (RDS, BCMS, Government Offices and RPAs) have been drawn into RDS’s Rural Support Operational Guidance, part of which is designed to increase awareness of the role of national and local rural support networks.

 

CLEANSING AND DISINFECTION OF AFFECTED PREMISES

 

4.47    Government funding of secondary cleansing and disinfection will be subject to review and separate consultation as part of the consideration of the future funding of disease control measures.  Primary cleansing and disinfection will remain the responsibility of Defra, and will be charged to Defra.

 

4.48    Detailed guidance on the procedures for cleansing and disinfecting affected premises is available at SVS Instructions Chapter 3, Section N.  The EA or SEPA must be consulted before any disposal of disinfectant or seized material is considered.  All disposals will be subject to a prior risk assessment and will be undertaken in accordance with EU and national regulations and guidance.

 


RODENT CONTROL

 

4.49    Rodent Control will be carried out on infected premises, on behalf of Defra, until the disease risk from rodents has been minimised (e.g. carcasses and potentially infected feed have been removed during the Cleansing and Disinfection procedures).  This control will be by the National Wildlife Management Team (NWMT) and will be co-ordinated nationally with staff operating within, and reporting to, the Biosecurity Unit of the LDCCs.  Thereafter responsibility for rodent control will revert to the owner or occupier of the infected place.

 


 

 

SECTION 5 - Key Operations

 

 

 

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION AND DISEASE CONTROL INFORMATION

 

5.1       DVMs will ensure that appropriate staff are familiar with the Management Information reports of the Disease Control System (DCS).  This will ensure the accurate and timely collation of statistical information for circulation to the NDCC and within the LDCC itself.

 

5.2       RODs are required to submit daily situation reports (Sitreps) to the NDCC Operations cell that will then circulate them to colleagues as appropriate and draw on them for the daily NDCC Report.  These are required by 1800 hours.  The sitrep format can be found at Annex K.  The NDCC will collate information from the RODs, from DCS and other appropriate sources to produce a daily evening report on the disease and its management and control, for Ministers, the Civil Contingencies Committee and senior officials.

 

5.3       It is essential that the collection and processing of data within the NDCC and LDCC spheres of command is done without delay.  The supply of accurate management information to the tactical and strategic command levels is of critical importance.  All personnel involved with the collection, collation and processing of this information should be made aware of this and understand its importance.

 

5.4       Case Officers must be deployed to ensure that the data required by the strategic and tactical levels is captured on-farm as soon as is practicable.  The outline requirements for this are as follows:

 

-           Animals slaughtered;

-           Performance against 24 hour slaughter target (if farm is IP);

-           Animals disposed;

-           Disposal route;

-           Cleansing and Disinfection - when primary C&D complete.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

Media - also Annex H

 

5.5       News releases will be co-ordinated through Communications Directorate.  Defra Press Office will take all national media inquiries, organise press briefings and interviews with Ministers, vets and officials.  If a central governmental response is initiated, the NCC will take the lead, working closely with Defra and other departments with a shared interest e.g. Environment Agency and Department of Culture, Media and Sport.  The Government News Network will do likewise in the regions.

 

5.6       DVMs/RODs will work with their local Government News Network (GNN) representative to ensure that accurate and timely briefings are given to the media and stakeholders.

 

Website

 

5.7       Defra’s FMD website is a key source of information in the event of an outbreak of disease.  Outline pages are being prepared in advance so that an information site can be established as soon as possible in an outbreak.  This is the responsibility of the Head of Animal Movements and Exotic Disease Policy Division working in co-operation with the Head of News Media in Communications Directorate.

 

5.8       The site will include:

 

7        A full list of Infected Premises (IPs) updated daily.  This will not include Dangerous Contact premises (DCs) or premises slaughtered on suspicion of disease (SOS) for data protection reasons.

7        Full details of Infected Areas and Restricted Infected Areas including interactive maps.

7        Full details of disease control measures and restrictions.

7        Advice to farmers, local authorities, and other rural stakeholders.

7        Advice on rural activities.

7        Links to relevant websites (e.g. other Government departments and Agencies, Meat and Livestock Commission, English Nature, National Farmers Union, Open Britain and Local Authorities).

 

Helplines

 

5.9       The Defra General Helpline 08459 335577 will be prepared for intense public interest, by providing additional staff resources, establishing supplementary helplines and providing adequate briefing.  Plans to escalate capacity are covered in Annex H.

 

Central Co-ordination

 

5.10    The Emergency Management Board meeting chaired by Defra’s Permanent Secretary on Day 1 will consider the need to engage CCC.  A representative from the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat should attend this meeting to advise on Government-wide co-ordination.  If CCC is engaged, it will need to consider whether to activate a central multi-disciplinary Communications Team to co-ordinate between Government departments and agencies.  This will depend on an assessment of the scale and possible course of the outbreak and the extent of involvement of other Departments.

 

5.11    The CCS, in conjunction with OD Sec, will provide, within COBR, a suite of rooms capable of housing a 24/7 operation.  Units would include a Crisis Management Unit, a Joint Assessments Cell (SAC) and a Government Liaison Team (GLT) which would include representatives from the main departments involved.  CCS would provide the secretariat for CCC and CCC(O) meetings.  The NCC, located at 10 Great George Street could provide daily rolling media briefs, take all media calls and centralise all press office functions.  It could also contain web and internal communications specialists and would maintain a constant electronic link with the Defra briefing and knowledge network units.

 

PUBLICITY AND DISEASE AWARENESS

 

Notifiable Disease Awareness programmes

 

5.12    Headquarters and DVMs, working with Communications Directorate, are involved in awareness programmes: lectures/demonstrations to veterinary schools, veterinary practices and agricultural colleges; direct mailing to livestock producers and articles in the veterinary and farming press as appropriate; and frequent contact through testing, inspection and advisory visits to livestock producers and those working in ancillary industries including markets, slaughter houses and livestock transport.


 

 

SECTION 6 - Strategic Level Plan

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE

 

6.1       Defra is lead Department for the control of Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks.  This section relates to the strategic level structures and functions necessary for effective command, control and communications in the event of a disease outbreak.

 

6.2       The Strategic Plan defines the necessary structures, roles and responsibilities for those involved in the strategic level decision-making process.

 

6.3       The decision-making processes at strategic level will be focussed entirely on defining, reviewing and refining strategies for disease control, communications, disposal, relief and recovery.  (See below for Defra Management Board and Civil Contingencies Committee).  The Strategic Group will direct the Tactical Group and will receive feedback on operational issues from stakeholders and from the operational command in order to inform further strategic decisions.

 

6.4       In the event of a confirmed outbreak of disease, Defra’s Management Board will meet as soon as possible (as detailed below) to ensure a rapid and appropriate response.  The Management Board will confirm the need to establish the Civil Contingencies Committee.  This will be triggered by the Permanent Secretary contacting the Head of Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat.

 

6.5       Whilst Defra will retain overall responsibility as lead department, if required the Civil Contingencies Committee(s) [CCC and CCC(O)] will adopt the strategic command and control and the assessment of the wider impact of the developing outbreak.  It is responsible for reviewing and developing cross-departmental strategies, and in particular accounting for issues affecting the wider UK economy.

 

6.6       The Science Advisory Group (SAG) exists to ratify, challenge and guide the development of the control strategies that are implemented by Defra and its agents.  It will also need to consider whether SAPER should be involved.  The mechanisms for activating SAPER require the departmental Permanent Secretary or Chief Scientific Adviser to write to the Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator, or, in his absence the Head of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat, copied to the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.

 

6.7       Stakeholders’ issues and concerns will be raised at separate meetings including the Rural Affairs Forums of the Government Offices in the Regions, and the issues will be tabled at CCC(O) by Defra representatives.

 

6.8       Tactical issues will be addressed at the daily Emergency Direction Group and by the National Disease Control Centre.

 

6.9       Operational decisions are devolved, in the main, to the Local Disease Control Centre lead by the Regional Operations Director.

 


Strategic Aims and Objectives

 

Aim: In the event of a confirmed case of FMD

 

To establish rapidly a command structure which enables a cross-departmental response and which gives clear strategic direction to the control effort.

 

Objectives: Strategic Group (Defra Management Board and Civil Contingencies Committee)

 

7        Defra Management Board must give urgent consideration of the need to establish the Civil Contingencies Committee(s).

7        Gives clear strategic instructions and direction to the tactical level (Emergency Direction Group, daily communications meetings and National Disease Control Centre).

7        Provides strategy for direction of communications, within Defra, across wider Government and externally to the public.

7        Members of Defra Management Board are the principal advisors to Defra Secretary of State, Number 10 and the Civil Contingencies Committee.

7        Defra Management Board must ensure Defra’s business continuity arrangements, in particular the impact on departmental business as a result of the reallocation of staff to the control effort.

7        Defra Management Board must set and review departmental business priorities and give guidance on the reallocation of resources.  This must be clearly communicated to managers and staff in the Department.

7        The Defra Management Board is responsible for ensuring the financial integrity of the control and recovery operations by establishing proper procurement, finance and audit procedures, in liaison with HM Treasury and the National Audit Office.

 


Structures and ‘Battle Rhythm’

 

 

Time

Event

Location

Attendees

0730 – 0800

NDCC Birdtable Meeting

NDCC Page Street

Key Strategic and Tactical personnel

0800 – 0830

 Daily Communications Meeting

Conference Room LG20 Page Street

Minister, No.10, DG OSD (Chair) CVO, Dirs: FMD Ops, , Comms, DG LURA, [PUS]

0900 – 1000

Civil Contingencies Committee (Officials)  CCC(O)

COBR

Chair: CCS

1000 – 1100

Civil Contingencies Committee (CCC)

COBR

Chair: Defra Minister

1015 - 1045

Emergency Direction Group (Tactical Command)

Conference Room LG20 Page Street

DG OSD (Chair), Dirs: FMD Ops, Comms, Finance, Legal (A), Rural Affairs, 

1130 - 1200

Media Briefing

Nobel House

Defra Minister, CVO, Defra CSA,

1200 – 1230

NDCC Birdtable Meeting

NDCC Page Street

All key Tactical personnel

1430 – 1500

Regional Operations Directors’ Teleconference

Page Street

Dir FMD Ops, RODs

1515 – 1600 (as necessary)

Defra Management Board

Room 806, Nobel House

Perm Sec, MB members,

As necessary

Animal Disease Policy Group

Page Street

Chair CVO

As necessary

Rural Issues Group

Nobel House

Chair DG LURA

As necessary

Science Advisory Group

Nobel House

Chair Defra CSA

1615 – 1715 (as necessary)

2nd Emergency Direction Group (EDG)

Conference Room LG20 Page Street

DG OSD (Chair), Dirs: FMD Ops, Comms, Finance, Legal (A), Rural Affairs,

1800

ROD Sitreps due

NDCC

 

1900  - 1930

NDCC Birdtable

NDCC Page Street

All key Tactical personnel

2100 (approx)

NDCC Report compiled & circulated

NDCC

NDCC Management Information Cell

 


Key Strategic Structures and Roles:

 

 


Title

Defra Emergency Management Board

Purpose

The strategic decision-making body in Defra

Meets

Meets as soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease and then as necessary in Room 613, 9 Millbank, London

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or his representative) will notify the Permanent Secretary and agree the establishment and timing of the Emergency Management Board and to consider the establishment of the Civil Contingencies Committee.  Thereafter the CVO will notify Management Board members as soon as practically possible (as per the Communications protocol of this plan).

 

Timing: 15.00 as necessary, to avoid clashes with other meetings

Reports to

- Secretary of State and Defra Ministers

- Reports forward to the Civil Contingencies Committee

Directs

Defra daily Emergency Direction Group

Core

Membership

[Minister], Permanent Secretary (Chair), DG OSD (Deputy Chair) All Defra Directors General, Environment Agency, Countryside Agency, Directors: SVS, CD, Finance,

[N.B.  A minimum of DGOSD, CVO, CSA, Directors: SVS, Legal Services A (or DGLS) & CD (or their deputies) is necessary]]

Other Members

Other Defra Directors (as invited)

Information received from

Birdtables, NDCC daily report, Animal Disease Policy Group, Science Advisory Group, Rural Issues Group, Civil Contingencies Committee, Emergency Direction Group report, Finance Report (from Director of Finance)

Tools

(Template for meeting provided below), Decision Tree for Control Strategies,

Objectives

- Liaise with Cabinet Office on input to the Civil Contingencies Committee (and who should Chair)

- Consider advice/recommendations from Defra Emergency Direction Group

- Agree appropriate strategies for disease control and their application, taking into account the impact of these upon the rural economy

- If necessary, develop existing strategies in response to the developing disease situation and advice received from policy for a (Animal Disease Policy Group, Science Advisory Group)

- Consider representations (via Directors) from Stakeholder Meetings when developing strategies

- Horizon scanning for future scenarios that may have an impact on strategies

This is NOT the forum for discussion of operational or tactical issues – these should be dealt with at the daily Emergency Direction Group

Output

- Emergency Management Board Report, (notes of key decisions on strategies, including background information)

- and/or Minutes of meetings,

- Requests for additional briefing,

- Reports to Civil Contingencies Committee and Emergency Direction Group (requiring action)

Secretariat

Defra Permanent Secretary’s Office

 


Defra Emergency Management Board Meeting

 

Agenda

 

Chair: Permanent Secretary (or nominee [DG OSD])

Membership: [Minister], (DG OSD - Deputy Chair) All Directors General,

[Environment Agency, Countryside Agency], Directors: SVS, Communications, Finance.

[N.B. A minimum of DG OSD, CVO, CSA, Directors: SVS, Legal Services A (or DGLS) & CD (or their deputies) is necessary]

 

 

1.         Disease and Epidemiology - current situation.

 

2.         Action taken and its implications.

 

3.         Operational Organisation - current situation; move to CCC.

 

4.         Proposals for future action (including communications internal and external).

 

5.         Parliamentary/Devolved Administration Issues.

 

6.         EU/International Issues.

 

7.         Media/Communications Issues.

 

8.         AOB.

 

9.         Date/Time of Next Meeting.


Template for First Report to Defra Emergency Management Board Meeting

(see also AMED Notification Proforma NDI 1)

 

Chair: Permanent Secretary (or nominee [DG OSD])

Membership: [Minister], (DG OSD - Deputy Chair) All Directors General, Environment Agency, [Countryside Agency], Directors: SVS, AHW, CD, Finance.

[N.B. A minimum of DG OSD, CVO, CSA, Directors: SVS, Legal Services A (or DGLS) & CD (or their deputies) are required for a quorum]

 

Issue:  Report of Notifiable Exotic Animal Disease

 (Suspected/Confirmed/Negative)

 

Facts: (Possible) diagnosis of-

 

            Name of Disease:

 

            Disease symptoms:

            (use layman’s terms)

 

            Samples taken to lab on:

 

            (Diagnosis on basis of clinical symptoms or Lab test):

 

Name of Proprietor/Owner/Stockholders: (or ‘location’ for data protection issues)

 

Address:

 

 

 

Decisions taken/decisions to be taken

 

SVS Division Dealing:

Name of DVM (or their nominee):

Name of SVS Region Head of Veterinary Services:

 

Names of Policy Leads:       - Confirmation of Disease:

                                                - Vaccination:

 

 

Name of SVS HQ Lead:

 

 

Epidemiology:

 

 

Animals slaughtered:

 


Provide a summary of the disease outbreak:

 

 

Implementation of Contingency Plan - what action has been taken so far?

(Provide a summary of restrictions imposed, details of RIA, LDCC ramp-up, etc.)

 

 

 

Likely Scenarios: (Although limited information is likely to be available, should consider likely scenarios and their impact on the issues highlighted below, challenge assumptions, horizon scan for future risks likely to affect current strategies)

 

Issues:

 

Outline of Risks:

 

Are there adequate resources?

E.g.     Vets

            Administrators

            Case Officers

            Bleeders

 

DGs to consider release of (i) key personnel as identified in contingency arrangements, (ii) other personnel as requested

 

Impact on DG’s business plans as a result of resource reallocation

 

Vaccination:   Vaccine

                        Vaccination Kits

                        Vaccinators

                        What is the lead-in time?

 

Armed Forces involvement?

 

Required level of enforcement of local restrictions?

Resource needed to enforce:

 

Define Strategy for:

 

7        Disease Control (see Disease Control Decision Tree at Annex B)

Consider:       Set control targets - Likely timelines

                        Restricted Infected Area status      

                        Impact on rural economy/communities/public health

                        Impact on Environment/Environmental Factors

 

7        Media Handling

 


Notification Checklist: (as per responsibilities outlined in contingency plan)

 

Number 10

 

Cabinet Office           -           Permanent Secretary

 

                                                Civil Contingencies Secretariat

 

ODPM - Regional Co-ordination Unit

 

SEERAD

 

WAG

 

DARDNI

 

FSA

 

OST - Chief Scientific Advisor

 

MOD

 

HMT - EFRA

 

DCMS

 

DoT

 

European Commission

 

OIE

 

DWP - Jobcentre Plus

 

Environment Agency

 

Countryside Agency

 

Rural Payments Agency

 

Local Government Association

 

National Farmers Union

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Title

Daily Communications Meeting

Purpose

A daily forum for considering the major issues arising from the outbreak in order to identify and agree key points to make for communications (internal & external) and media brief.

Meets

0800 - 0830 daily after initial confirmation of disease in Room LG20, 1A Page Street, London

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or his representative) will notify the Permanent Secretary and agree the establishment and timing of an emergency Management Board meeting.  Thereafter the Director of Communications will notify the relevant senior officials (listed below) as soon as practically possible and agree their attendance at the Communications Meeting (as per the communications protocol of the contingency plan).

 

Timing: 0800 – 0830 (brief taken from 07.30 NDCC Birdtable and overnight NDCC report)

Reports to

Civil Contingencies Committee, Emergency Direction Group, Defra Directorates involved with control effort (as required – e.g. ITD, CSD,)

Directs

 

Core

Membership

Director Communications, Director SVS, [Permanent Secretary], Minister(s), Chief Veterinary Officer, DG Operations & Service Delivery (chair), Number 10,

Other Members

Other Defra DGs / Directors (as necessary and invited through Chair)

Information received from

NDCC Birdtables, NDCC daily report, Emergency Direction Group, Stakeholder meetings

Tools

early Press Cuts, NDCC overnight report

Objectives

- Share information between key strategists (after NDCC Birdtable 07.30)

- Identify and agree the key messages, points to make and issues of the day for CCC; also for other communications

- agree appropriate media handling for possible briefing at 11.30

Output

- Media handling position for 11.30 media briefing (owned by Director Communications),

- Report of major issues and key messages for CCC

- Requests for additional briefing,

Secretariat

DG OSD’ office / Communications Directorate

 


 


Title

Civil Contingencies Committee (Officials)   CCC(O)

Purpose

The forum for reviewing strategies in a wider Government context and for dealing with operational strategy issues that affect other Government Departments

Meets

09.00 as necessary in COBR or 10 Great George Street

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or his representative) will notify the Permanent Secretary.  The Permanent Secretary’s office will notify other Departments’ Permanent Secretaries by e-mail.  This will be followed by [GICS] briefing provided to OGDs via Defra Communications Directorate

 

Timing: 09.00 (subject to OD Sec confirmation)

Directs

- Other Government Departments

- Defra daily Emergency Direction Group

- Defra NDCC

Core

Membership

Chair: Cabinet Office; Secretariat: CCS

DEFRA (Permanent Secretary, DG OSD, CVO, CSA), SEERAD, WAG, Number 10, Cabinet Office (CCS,  Econ/Domestic Sec.), ODPM RCU, EA, CA, [LGA / LACORS,] MOD, Home Office (& ACPO), DWP, DoH (inc. CMO & HPA), DCMS, DfT, HMT, FSA,

Other Members

N/A

Information received from

Defra Emergency Management Board Report, NDCC daily report, EDG / NDCC representatives

Tools

N/A

Objectives

- Initially, receives Defra position on strategic issues for consideration of its wider implications and for refinement if necessary; in particular strategies for relief and recovery,

- consideration and development of operational strategy development to ensure a government-wide approach to the emergency

- Consider representations (via Directors General) from Stakeholder Meetings when developing strategies

- Report back to Defra Emergency Management Board

- Reports forward to the Defra daily Emergency Direction Group on any issues affecting tactical control through the NDCC

- Reports to home departments and the centre

This a forum for strategic discussion – detailed operational issues should be raised through representation at National Disease Control Centre

Output

- Committee Report of key decisions on Strategies - reports (requiring action) to Defra Emergency Management Board, Defra Emergency Direction Group and OGDs

- and Minutes of meetings and Action Points

- Requests for additional briefing and assessments

Secretariat

Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat

 


 


Title

Civil Contingencies Committee    CCC

Purpose

The forum for reviewing strategies in a wider Government context and for dealing with decisions relating to policy and operational strategy issues that affect other Government Departments

Meets

10.00 as necessary in COBR

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or his representative) will notify the Permanent Secretary.  The Permanent Secretary’s office will notify Defra Ministers and the Civil Contingencies Secretariat giving notice of probable need to establish CCC (subject to Defra Emergency Management Board agreement).  This will be followed by [GICS] briefing provided to OGDs via Defra Communications Directorate

 

Timing: 10.00 - 11.00 (subject to OD Sec confirmation)

Directs

- Other Government Departments

- Defra daily Emergency Direction Group

- National Disease Control Centre

Core

Membership

Chair: Defra Minister; Secretariat: CCS

Defra (DG OSD, CVO, CSA), SEERAD, WAG, Number 10, Cabinet Office (CCS,  Econ/Domestic Sec.), ODPM RCU, EA, CA, MOD, Home Office (& ACPO), DWP, DoH, DCMS, DfT, HMT, FSA,

Other Members

N/A

 

Information received from

CCC(O), Defra Emergency Management Board Report, NDCC daily report

Tools

N/A

Objectives

- Consider and develop policies and operational policies where wider government commitment is required.  Receives CCC(O) position on strategic issues for consideration of wider implications and for refinement if necessary; in particular strategies for relief and recovery

- Consider representations (via Directors General) from Stakeholder Meetings when developing strategies

- Report back to Defra Emergency Management Board and/or CCC(O)

- Reports to home departments and the centre

This a forum for strategic discussion – detailed operational issues should be raised through representation at National Disease Control Centre

Output

- Committee Report of key decisions on - reports (requiring action) to Defra Emergency Management Board and/or CCC(O) Defra Emergency Direction Group and OGDs

- Requests for additional briefing and assessments

Secretariat

Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat

 


CIVIL CONTINGENCIES COMMITTEE/CCC(O)

(Chaired by Defra Minister/Government Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator)

 

Meetings in COBR at 10.00AM/09.00AM

 

 

AGENDA

 

1.         Situation Update

 

 

 

 

2.         Actions arising from last meeting

 

 

 

 

3.         Issues Arising

 

 

 

 

 

4.         Public information and media handling

 

 

 

 

 

5.         Actions arising

 

 


 


Title

Defra Science Advisory Group

Purpose

To provide independent science advice to the Animal Disease Policy Group and the Civil Contingencies Committee; and to challenge strategic assumptions

Meets

As necessary (and initially after the first Defra Emergency Management Board) in Room 806 Nobel House, 17, Smith Square, London

Activation criteria

As soon as the CSA is informed of confirmation of the disease he will alert Science Advisory Group members. 

Timing: Science Advisory Group will meet after the first Defra Emergency Management Board.  Time: to be agreed

Reports to

Civil Contingencies Committee & Defra Emergency Management Board

Core

Membership

Defra Chief Scientific Adviser (Chair), Members of the Science Advisory Council Animal Disease Sub-Group augmented by experts from their emergency stand-by list (including EU experts who may be accessed through protected internet link).

Other Members

CVO’s representative, Science Directorate Officials, and representatives from MoD, OST, CCS, FSA, EA, DoH & PHLS as appropriate.  Other technical experts, including those with relevant industry expertise may be asked to provide briefing on specific issues.

Information received from

NDCC daily report, Disease Control System (database), Epidemiology (Interspread) model(s), Met Office, ‘other’ models, Animal Disease Policy Group, Defra Rural Issues Group, Defra Emergency Management Board, Civil Contingencies Committee,

Tools

Disease Control System (database), Epidemiology model(s), Met Office and ‘other’ models,

Objectives

- Advises the Civil Contingencies Committee on the science relating to disease control, carcass disposal and farm restoration and its implications, in order that the Committee can develop appropriate strategies

- Peer reviews the quality of the scientific evidence supporting veterinary policy, including, if necessary, commissioning duplicate modelling.

- Challenges assumptions within strategy development

- Horizon scanning for future scenarios that may have an impact on strategies

- Close liaison with Animal Disease Policy Group (to avoid overlap and gaps)

Output

- Notes of advice and key decisions, and background information in support of these;

- Minutes of meetings,

Secretariat

Chief Scientific Adviser’s office

 


 

Title

Defra Animal Disease Policy Group

Purpose

To provide disease control advice and policy recommendations to the Civil Contingencies Committee and challenge strategic assumptions

Meets

As necessary (and initially after the first Defra Emergency Management Board / Civil Contingencies Committee) in Room XXX, 1A Page Street, London

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or his representative) will notify the Permanent Secretary.  Thereafter the CVO will notify Emergency Management Board members (including the Directors of Veterinary Policy and Animal Health and Welfare) as soon as practically possible (as per the Communications protocol of this contingency plan).  This will trigger the Director Veterinary Policy to alert other Animal Disease Policy Group members.

 

Timing:  Animal Disease Policy Group will meet after the first Defra Emergency Management Board.  Time: to be agreed

Reports to

Defra Emergency Management Board / Civil Contingencies Committee

Core

Membership

Defra Chief Veterinary Officer (Chair), Defra Chief Scientist’s representative, Director Vet Policy, Director Animal Health and Welfare, Head of Epidemiology (VLA), Head of LSDG Animal Health & Welfare Division (or Director Legal Services A) others to be confirmed

Other Members

External Membership to be confirmed

Information received from

NDCC daily report, Defra Science Advisory Group, Defra Rural Issues Group, Defra Emergency Management Board, Civil Contingencies Committee,

Tools

Disease Control System (database), Epidemiology model(s) e.g. Interspread, Met Office and ‘other’ models

Objectives

- Advises the Civil Contingencies Committee on disease control policy, in order that the board can develop appropriate strategies

- Challenges assumptions within strategy development

- Horizon scanning for future scenarios that may have an impact on strategies

Output

- Notes of advice and key decisions, and background information in support of these;

- Minutes of meetings,

Secretariat

Chief Veterinary Officer’s office

 


 

Title

Defra Rural Issues Group

Purpose

To provide advice and policy recommendations on rural issues to the Civil Contingencies Committee and challenge strategic assumptions

Meets

As necessary and initially after the first Defra Emergency Management Board / Civil Contingencies Committee in Room 806 Nobel House, 17, Smith Square, London

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or his representative) will notify the Permanent Secretary.  Thereafter the CVO will notify Emergency Management Board members (including the Director General LURA) as soon as practically possible (as per the Communications protocol of this contingency plan).  This will trigger the Director General LURA to alert Rural Issues Group members and confirm communication networks with Regional Affairs Forums through the Government Offices in the Regions. 

 

Timing:  Rural Issues Group will meet after the first Defra Emergency Management Board.  Time: to be agreed

Reports to

Civil Contingencies Committee & Defra Emergency Management Board

Core

Membership

Director General Land Use & Rural Affairs, Director Rural Economies & Communities, Director Land Management & Rural Development, Countryside Agency, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Regional Co-ordination Unit, others to be confirmed

Other Members

External Membership to be confirmed, e.g. DCMS, DTI, Home Office, DWP (Jobcentre Plus),

Information received from

NDCC daily report, Defra Science Advisory Group, Defra Rural Issues Group, Defra Emergency Management Board, Civil Contingencies Committee,

Tools

N/A

Objectives

- Advises the Civil Contingencies Committee on the affect of policies on rural communities and industries, including carcass disposal and farm restoration,

- Provides detailed rural feedback from stakeholders

- Challenges assumptions within strategy development

- Horizon scanning for future scenarios that may have an impact on strategies

Output

- Notes of advice and key decisions, and background information in support of these;

- Minutes of meetings,

Secretariat

Director General LURA office


 


Title

External Stakeholder Meeting

Purpose

To provide stakeholders with a forum for discussing and influencing policy developments and to help steer the strategic direction

Meets

Meets (suggested once a week) in Room 808 Nobel House, 17, Smith Square, London

Activation criteria

By open invitation, managed by Communications Directorate

Reports to

- Reports back (via Defra Directors General) to Civil Contingencies Committee and Emergency Direction Group

Core

Membership

Defra Minister (Chair), Defra Chief Scientist or Deputy, Defra Chief Veterinary Officer or Deputy, Defra Directors: - Communications, State Veterinary Service (or their Deputies), Environment Agency, Countryside Agency, [English Nature] Stakeholders representing agricultural, rural, food supply and other organisations (by open invitation), lists of stakeholders provided by AHWD and DG LURA

N.B. Key Stakeholders and Operational Partners have representatives within the NDCC and LDCC(s) for input into tactical and operational decision-making.

Other Members

Other Government Departments (as necessary) [inc. Department of Health, Food Standards Agency]

Information received from

Civil Contingencies Committee, Defra Emergency Management Board Report, Stakeholders

Tools

N/A

Objectives

- Discuss strategy development and provide a forum to raise concerns and issues

- Offer constructive input to policy development via Defra Senior Officials

Output

- Minutes of meetings,

- Report (via Defra) to Civil Contingencies Committee, Defra Emergency Management Board, Defra Emergency Direction Group and OGDs (requiring action)

Secretariat

Minister’s Office or AHW Directorate General

 


 


Title

Senatorial Group

Purpose

“To provide independent advice to the Prime Minister and Cabinet”

Meets

 

Activation criteria

 

Reports to

 

Core

Membership

 

Other Members

 

Information received from

 

Tools

 

Objectives

- Discuss and challenge strategy development and provides an independent forum to raise concerns and issues

Output

 

Secretariat

 

 


Defra Roles at Strategic Level

 

Permanent Secretary - Defra Strategic Commander

 

7        Ultimate responsibility for all strategic decisions taken within Defra.

7        Responsible for triggering the establishment of the Civil Contingencies Committee by contacting the Cabinet Office Permanent Secretary (or direct to Head of Civil Contingencies Secretariat).

7        As Chairman of the Management Board establish Departmental priorities, achieve clarity of impact on other Departmental business and give clear leadership.

7        As Departmental Accounting Officer, and in liaison with the Director of Finance, ensure that appropriate financial and audit procedures are in place.

7        Take an outward-facing role to engage Number 10 and other Permanent Secretaries, particularly Cabinet Office regarding the Civil Contingencies Committee and HM Treasury.  Issues likely to be: augmenting staff resources from OGD pool, communication with OGD partners and Ministers, response to EFRA and Treasury Select Committees.

7        Horizon scan for wider governmental issues.

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

7        Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.00 - as necessary, Chair: Cabinet Office; Secretariat: CCS).

7        When necessary, attend daily Communications Meeting (08.00 - 08.30) and ensure that the Secretary of State, Ministers and Number 10 are regularly briefed.

7        Chair Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00, as necessary), ensuring the meeting focuses on strategic outcomes.

7        Appoint deputies (at least DG Operations and Service Delivery).

 

DG Operations & Service Delivery

7        Ensure that notification of a confirmed outbreak is cascaded down to Heads of Division level within the Directorate General without delay and that those HODs with key roles to play (e.g. Heads of Professions) understand their roles and the need for a rapid reaction to support the control effort.

7        Responsible for making recommendation to Defra Permanent Secretary on the establishment of the Civil Contingencies Committee.

7        Establish strategic delivery priorities.

7        Engage other Directors General and Other Government Departments (particular responsibility for engaging Civil contingencies Secretariat and Armed Forces support), issues likely to be: Augmentation of Defra staff from OGD pool and elsewhere, calling in the Armed Forces (in liaison with MOD Home & Special Forces Secretariat - see contact list at Annex F).

7        Ensure Local Authority engagement through Local Government Association and LACORS.

7        Strategic Liaison with Government Offices in the Regions.

7        Horizon scan for strategic issues.

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

7        Chair daily Tactical/Communications Meeting (08.00 - 08.30).

7        Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.00, Chair: Cabinet Office; Secretariat: CCS).

7        Chair daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.15), ensuring the meeting focuses on Tactical outcomes.

7        Deputise for Permanent Secretary at Emergency Management Board meetings (15.00 as necessary).

7        Appoint deputies.

 

Chief Veterinary Officer

7        Responsible for confirmation of disease in first case.

7        Head of State Veterinary Profession - increased liaison with RCVS and BVA.

7        Establish and Chair Animal Disease Policy Group (N.B. this is separate from Science Advisory Group) to devise/refine disease control policies, horizon scan and inform development of strategies at Civil Contingencies Committee (09.00).

7        Ensure that notification of a confirmed outbreak is cascaded down to key staff as outlined in the Tactical Section of this plan, and also to Heads of Division level within the Directorate General without delay and that those HODs with key roles to play understand the need for a rapid reaction to support the control effort.

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30) (optional).

7        Attend daily Tactical/Communications Meeting (08.00 - 08.30).

7        Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.00).

7        Brief media (11.30).

7        Attend Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary).

7        Attend Stakeholders Group (once per week) or send deputy.

7        Appoint deputies.

 

DEFRA Chief Scientist

7        Establish and Chair Science Advisory Group to inform and challenge development of strategies at Civil Contingencies Committee (N.B. this is separate from Animal Disease Policy Group).

7        Horizon scan for strategic issues.

7        Ensure that notification of a confirmed outbreak is cascaded down to Heads of Division level within the Directorate General without delay and that those HODs with key roles to play understand the need for a rapid reaction to support the control effort.

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

7        Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.00).

7        Brief media (11.00).

7        Attend Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary).

7        Attend Stakeholder Group (once per week) or send deputy.

7        Appoint deputies.

 

Director Legal Service A/DG Legal Services

7        Provide Legal advice to the Defra Emergency Management Board and the Civil Contingencies Committee.

7        Ensure that notification of a confirmed outbreak is cascaded down to Heads of Division level within the Directorate General without delay and that those HODs with key roles to play understand the need for a rapid reaction to support the control effort.

7        Ensure that there are sufficient legal staff to meet emerging needs.

7        Ensure that there is a lawyer posted (on a rota basis) to the National Disease Control Centre at its inception.

7        Horizon scan for strategic issues.

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

7        Attend daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.15).

7        [DG Legal Services to attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.00) if necessary].

7        Attend Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary).

 

DG Land Use and Rural Affairs

7        Ensure that notification of a confirmed outbreak is cascaded down to Heads of Division level within the Directorate General without delay and that those HODs with key roles to play understand the need for a rapid reaction to support the control effort.

7        Ensure that the Countryside Agency is briefed and invited to attend Civil Contingencies Committee [and Emergency Management Board] and provide a representative within the National Disease Control Centre.

7        Horizon scan for strategic issues.

7        Establish and Chair Rural Issues Group (see description above) to horizon scan and develop policies to inform development of strategies at Civil Contingencies Committee and Defra Emergency Management Board.

7        Review procedures for information gathering from rural stakeholders with the aim to ensure close stakeholder liaison and adequate feedback to Civil Contingencies Committee and Defra Emergency Management Board.

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

7        Attend Civil Contingencies Committee when required (09.00).

7        Attend regular stakeholder meeting.

7        Attend Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary).

7        Appoint deputies.

 

Other DGs

7        Ensure that notification of a confined outbreak is cascaded down to Heads of Division level within the Directorate General without delay and that those HODs with key roles to play (e.g. Heads of Professions) understand the need for a rapid reaction to support the control effort.

7        Attend Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary).

7        Appoint deputies.

7        N.B. Attendance at 07.30 NDCC Birdtable is recommended for briefing.

 

Director SVS - Tactical Commander

7        Director of Disease Operations.

7        Establish and lead the National Disease Control Centre (NDCC):

-     appoint deputies (see Joint Deputy Directors of NDCC

-     notify NDCC Heads of Teams

-     ensure that contingency arrangements are enacted

7        Direct the RODs and LDCC in controlling and eradicating the disease.

7        Attend NDCC Birdtables (especially 07.30 for briefing).

7        Attend daily Tactical/Communications meeting (08.00 - 08.30).

7        Attend and brief daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.15).

7        Ensure that clear instructions are produced from Emergency Direction Group for dissemination to NDCC and LDCC(s).

7        When necessary, attend and brief Civil Contingencies Committee (09.00).

7        Chair daily conference call with RODs (14.00) or send deputy.

7        [Attend and brief regular Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary)].

7        Horizon scan for tactical issues.

7        Attend Stakeholder Group (suggested once per week) or send deputy.

7        Responsible for Health and Safety issues in all disease control and clear-up operations.

 

Director Vet Policy

7        Notify members of the Animal Disease Policy Group,

7        Attend Animal Disease Policy Group.

7        European Union SVC and OIE liaison.

7        Liaison with industry and other stakeholders over policy development.

7        Deputise for CVO at Defra Emergency Direction Group, and if necessary at Civil Contingencies Committee (09.00) and Animal Disease Policy Group.

7        Attend NDCC Birdtables (where possible, but especially 07.30 for briefing).

7        Horizon scan for tactical issues.

7        Attend Stakeholder Group (once per week) or send deputy.

7        Appoint deputies.

 

Director Animal Health & Welfare

7        Liaison with industry and other stakeholders over policy development.

7        European Commission liaison.

7        Deputise for CVO at Defra Emergency Direction Group, and if necessary at Defra Emergency Management Board and Animal Disease Policy Group.

7        Attend NDCC Birdtables (where possible, but especially 07.30 for briefing).

7        Horizon scan for tactical issues.

7        Attend Stakeholder Group (once per week) or send deputy.

7        Appoint deputies.

 

Director Communications

7        Organise and chair teleconference upon notification of initial case of suspect/confirmed disease.

7        Establish national communications hub in NDCC and working with RODs/DVMs set up regional/divisional communications presence in local disease control centres (LDCC).

7        Engage GICS (and GNN).

7        Horizon scan for tactical issues.

7        Ensure that internal communications actions are taken to keep all Defra staff informed.

7        Establish appropriate media briefing at national and local levels.

7        Attend NDCC Birdtables (where possible, but especially 07.30 for briefing).

7        Attend daily Tactical/Communications meeting (08.00-08.30).

7        Attend Civil Contingencies Committee(O) (09.00-10.00).

7        Attend and brief Emergency Direction Group (10.15) or send deputy.

7        Provide Media briefing (with CVO and CSA) at 11.30 every day.

7        Attend and brief Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary).

7        Attend Stakeholder Group (once per week) or send deputy.

7        Review communications protocols on a regular basis.

7        Appoint deputies.

 

Finance Director

7        Appoint Head of FMD Finance in NDCC and agree appointment of Finance Managers to LDCC(s).

7        Appoint team to impose financial control and audit procedures at all levels.

7        Liaise with HM Treasury and National Audit Office.

7        Submit a regular Finance Report to the Emergency Management Board [and Civil Contingencies Committee].

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

7        Attend and brief daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.15).

7        Attend and brief Defra Emergency Management Board (15.00 as necessary).

7        Horizon scan for strategic and tactical issues.

7        Appoint deputies.

 

Other Directors (as necessary)

7        Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

7        Attend and brief daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.15) if necessary.

7        Brief Directors General for the Civil Contingencies Committee (09.00) [and Emergency Management Board] if necessary.

7        Appoint deputies.

 


 

 

SECTION 7 - Tactical Level Plan

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE

 

7.1       Defra is lead Department for the control of Exotic Animal Disease outbreaks.  This section of the Plan defines the tactical structures and functions necessary for effective control, operations and communication in the event of a disease outbreak.  The Tactical Group receive direction from the Strategic Group and instruct field operations.  They are also the conduit for feedback from the operations on the ground back to the Strategic Group.

 

7.2       The Tactical Level centres around the National Disease Control Centre (NDCC) (See Annex I), which includes representatives from other government departments, devolved administrations, agencies, other operational partners and key stakeholders.  Policy divisions from the Animal Health and Welfare Directorate have key roles to play here and close liaison is essential.

 

Objective

 

7.3       To focus on co-ordination, identifying operational problems and issues and taking authoritative decisions to resolve them; creating a ‘relevantly advised network’, dissemination of policies, strategies, decisions and other information; provision of data to and from the Strategic Level and of ensuring the accuracy and integrity of data; the provision of direct access to senior State Veterinary Service (SVS) management and policy makers for the Operational Level.

 

7.4       Strategic issues should be addressed at the Defra FMD Strategy Board, the Government FMD Co-ordination Committee, the Daily Emergency Direction Group and their associated groups.

 

7.5       Tactical issues should only be addressed at the Defra Daily Exercise Direction Group, Daily Communications Meeting and National Disease Control Centre (Birdtable Meetings).

 

7.6       Operational decisions are devolved (in the main) to the Local Disease Control Centre under the overall control of the Regional Operations Director.

 

ACTIVATION

 

Authority

7.7       The following Defra Officers have the authority to activate the NDCC:

 

            1)         Director of State Veterinary Service

            2)         Director General Operations and Service Delivery

            3)         Permanent Secretary

 

Process

 

7.8       Action to be taken to contact personnel and so establish the NDCC is set out at Section 2.13.  The Map of Initial Defra actions explains what would happen at this time.

 

NDCC TEAM TASKS

 

Disease Reporting Team

 

7.9       The Disease Reporting Team (DRT) authorise slaughter and act as a central co-ordination point to collate, refine and present up-to-date information on disease reports.  They provide an accurate picture of the disease outbreak situation by establishing and managing a team of Telephone Report Veterinarians and other teams within DRT.  On day one of the activation of the NDCC, the maximum number of team positions is 15.

 

Operations (Non-Veterinary)

 

7.10    Aim - To co-ordinate and manage the non-veterinary aspects of the control, eradication and recovery operation by co-ordinating the work of the Operations Teams.  Overall responsibility for operations, disposals, statistics and management information and cleansing and disinfection will lie with the Operations Team as well as responsibility for ensuring liaison between operations and veterinary, animal health and welfare, environment, rural policy, Briefing Unit, Corporate Services, legal, stakeholders and operational partners represented in the Operations Team.  Representation of the Operations Team at Defra Emergency Direction Group meetings.  The team also manages the Birdtable meetings and co-ordinates the information from the 1800 daily situation report.  On day one of the activation of the NDCC, the maximum number of team positions is 12.

 

Veterinary Operations

 

7.11    Aim - To co-ordinate and manage the veterinary aspects of the control, eradication and recovery operation by liaison with the Animal Health and Welfare Directorate and direction of the Divisional Veterinary Managers (DVMs).  On day one of the activation of the NDCC, the maximum number of team positions is 6.

 

 

 

 

 



Communications and Briefing

 

7.12    The Communications and Briefing Team aim to gather information on the disease outbreak, on the policies employed to control it and the control operation, from a number of sources including the Management Information Cell in the NDCC.  It aims to provide accurate and timely media briefing and points to make for Ministers, senior officials, helplines and all staff dealing directly with the public.  The team will liaise with the GNN and communications teams in LDCCs to ensure that briefing can be deployed effectively.  They will ensure that all Defra staff are kept aware of developments in controlling the disease.  On day one of the activation of the NDCC, the maximum number of team positions is 4.

 

FMD Personnel

 

7.13    The FMD Personnel Team aim to manage and co-ordinate the provision of veterinary, specialist and administrative resources to the NDCC and the field by liaising with Defra divisions, Defra Agencies, Government Offices, Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat, the Employment Service (Jobcentre Plus) Operational Support Secretariat and other Government Departments to secure emergency staff, including veterinary staff resource.  There will also be liaison with RCVS/BVA, FCO and worldwide CVOs over transfer of staff.  Establishment of contract terms and conditions for staff and contracted personnel as well as provision of training, Health and Safety procedures for staff and contractors and support and advice to Personnel Teams based in the LDCCs.  On day one of the activation of the NDCC, the maximum number of team positions is 3.

 

FMD Finance

 

7.14    The FMD Finance Team aim to establish, co-ordinate and manage the framework of financial controls and the resulting expenditure.  Setting delegations for payments and authorisation levels throughout the National Disease Control Centre (NDCC) and Local Disease Control Centre(s) (LDCC) in consultation with the Director SVS and Defra’s Director of Finance, ensuring LDCCs are trained in the use of financial management systems.  To be done by:

 

-           Resource Accounting - Ensuring that an appropriate accounting system in place to meet the Departments Resource Accounting requirements.

-           Establishing a chart of accounts.

 

Audit

7.15    Liaison with the National Audit Office (NAO), European Union (EU) and Defra Internal Audit.

 

Estimates and Expenditure

7.16    Maintaining an adequate cost forecasting and reporting system to meet the requirements of senior management, Financial Planning and Resources Directorate (FPRD) and HM Treasury.

 

Costing Systems

7.17    Establishing a system of regular reports on the expenditure by expense and activity.

 

Inquiries

7.18    Providing briefing responses to PQs, Ministerial Correspondence.

 

Payments

7.19    Authorisation of payments for contractors and other expenses including costs from Other Government Departments (OGDs).

 

Compensation

7.20    Establish a payments system for animals slaughtered with a full database validated and reconciled to the Disease Control System (DCS).  Maintaining an audit trail of documentation to meet the European Union (EU), National Audit Office (NAO) and Defra audit requirements.

Arbitration -

Establish and maintain a unit to receive appeals against valuations.

Establish and maintain a database of cases.

Helpline for Arbitration queries.

 

Business Continuity

7.21    Maintain a strategic plan for Business Continuity in FMD Finance and in the Finance Units in the LDCCs.

Arrange periodic visits to LDCCs to confirm financial controls are in operation as expected.

Hold monthly FMD Finance Managers Meetings to deal with major issues - staffing and operations.

Set standards for file documentation and financial databases.

Establish a retention of records policy.

 

Vaccination Operations

 

7.22    The Vaccination Operations Team aim to co-ordinate and manage the emergency vaccination exercise and provide the link between the NDCC and the commercial contractors responsible for the supply of vaccination teams and supervisory veterinary surgeons.  This is done by ensuring that commercial resource and supplies are sufficient to meet the needs of the disease outbreak, ensuring that vaccine and supplies reach the designated vaccination centres promptly and are replenished as required, by providing advice and guidance to the commercial contractor and advice and guidance on vaccination capability and operational arrangements to NDCC, Animal Health & Welfare/Veterinary Policy and LDCC staff.  And by providing briefing on vaccination issues and drafting instructions to the field.  On day one of the activation of the NDCC, the maximum number of team positions is 2.

 


STAKEHOLDERS

 

7.23    Stakeholders and operational partners within the NDCC are likely to include representatives from the following organisations:

 

            Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO)

            Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS)

            Countryside Agency (CA)

            Department for Transport (DFT)/Freight Transport Association (FTA)

            Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)/Jobcentre Plus

            Environment Agency (EA)

            Local Authorities Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS)

            Local Government Association (LGA)

            Military Liaison Officer

            National Farmers Union (NFU)

            Regional Co-ordination Unit (Cabinet Office) (RCU)

            Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)

 

Representatives from other organisations will be invited if necessary.

 

CO-ORDINATION

 

7.24    The National Disease Control Centre falls under the responsibility of the Director of SVS.  In order for the NDCC to operate effectively, co-ordination from other parts of Defra and its agencies is essential; Directorates will loan staff and equipment for the eradication effort.  The teams that will be formed are as follows:

 

Geographical Information System          -        Reporting to Director SVS via

(GIS) staff and equipment.                                Head of Disease Reporting Team.

Epidemiology Team and equipment      -        Reporting to Director SVS via

                                                                        Head of Disease Reporting Team.

 

7.25    Director SVS will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all equipment and for the availability of all loaned staff for the duration of the loan period (i.e. the duration of the outbreak).

 

7.26    Certain sectors of the NDCC will not fall under the management of the Director SVS.  These sections will remain under the management of their home divisions, but will form part of the NDCC to facilitate a joined up disease eradication effort.  The teams that fall into this category are:

 

            Communications and Briefing Unit

            Procurement

            Legal

            Finance

 

(See detailed job descriptions in SVS Instructions for lines of communication/liaison)

 

CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS

 

7.27    Communications Directorate are responsible for updating the external website, internal website and the Knowledge Network.  Before communicating with the media, stakeholders, operational partners and other external bodies, please refer to the Knowledge Network and Operational Communications Team.

 

MEETINGS

 

7.28    The meeting schedule for the NDCC is:

 

Birdtable, at 07.30, 12.00 and 19.00 daily, to be held in the NDCC, to provide daily, short, outcome-focussed briefing and co-ordination by identifying operational problems and issues, problems and progress against them, tasking individuals to resolve them and creating the ‘relevantly-informed network’.  This should be attended by a representative from each team’s subject area within the NDCC and policy representatives from Animal Health and Welfare and Livestock Strategy.

 

Daily Emergency Direction Group, at 10.15 - 10.45 to be held initially in Room LG20, 1A Page Street, London.  To define the major issues arising from the outbreak and provide tactical direction to the NDCC. For more detail see the Defra Daily Emergency Direction Group Table.


 

 


Title

Defra Daily Emergency Direction Group

Purpose

A daily forum for defining the major issues arising from the outbreak and providing tactical direction to the NDCC

Meets

10.15 – 10.45 daily, after initial confirmation of disease in Room LG20 1A, Page Street, London

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or his representative) will notify the Permanent Secretary and agree the establishment and timing of the Emergency Management Board. The CVO will also notify the Director SVS, who will in turn notify Emergency Direction Group members as soon as practically possible. Timing: 10.15 [after CCC(O)]

Reports to

Civil Contingencies Committee [CCC/CCC(O)], Defra Emergency Management Board, NDCC, Directorates involved with control effort (as required – e.g. ITD, CSD), Operational Partners as appropriate

Directs

National Disease Control Centre (via Director SVS),

Core

Membership

 DG OSD (Chair), Director SVS, (Deputy Chair), Director Vet Policy, Director Animal Health & Welfare, Director Communications (or Chief Press Officer), Director Legal Services A

Other Members

Other Defra Directors (as necessary invited through Chair)

Information received from

Civil Contingencies Committees, Birdtable meetings, NDCC daily report, Stakeholder meetings

Tools

NDCC Report, Disease Control System (database),

Objectives

- Share information between key tacticians (after CCC(O) 09.00)

- Identify the daily tactical issues that need to be addressed and report back to CCC/CCC(O) for resolution (e.g. policy and strategic resourcing issues)

- Agree the tactical application of the strategies produced by CCC/CCC(O)

- Disseminate tactical instructions to the National Disease Control Centre (NDCC)

- Consider representations (via Directors) from Stakeholder meetings in defining the application of strategies

N.B. This is NOT the forum for discussion of strategic issues – these should be discussed at CCC/CCC(O)

Output

- Report of major issues and key decisions on the tactical application of strategies (owned by Director SVS) – sent to NDCC Heads of Cells, all Directors General, Director Communications,

- Requests for additional briefing,

Secretariat

Director General - Operations & Service Delivery office

 


 

ADMINISTRATION

 

Location

 

7.29    The National Disease Control Centre will initially be set up in room LG09 in Page Street.  On request from Head of FMD Operations, Building and Estate Management Division will invoke their contingency arrangements to clear staff from the seventh and eight floors of Page Street to allow the establishment of the NDCC.

 

Telecommunications

 

7.30    The Telecommunications Section are responsible for telephone lines, telephone handsets and headsets in the NDCC.  Their contact details can be obtained from the Corporate Directory or the BEMD Website.

 

Information Technology Support

 

7.31    Responsibility for the supply and maintenance of IT equipment (computers, printers etc) lays with Information Technology Support Unit (ITSU).  Their contact details can be obtained from the Corporate Directory or the BEMD website.

 

Catering

 

7.32    Arrangements for catering should be made through the Page Street canteen on the Lower Ground Floor.

 

Document Management

 

7.33    Documents should be managed in line with the policies set out in the Records Management Website.

 

Security

 

7.34    For all London-based non-Defra staff, temporary building passes will be provided by the front reception desk security staff at Page Street.  Proximity Type Photographic Security Passes are obtained and managed by Security Branch, contact details for both can be found on the Page Street website.

 

Travel/Accommodation

 

7.35    Hotel, flight, train or hire car bookings can be made through Defra contracted companies.  Hotels can be booked direct or be booked through one of our Nominated Hotel Booking Agents.  Agent details are available on Defra on-line.

 

7.36    Flights can be booked via Omega World Travel, however tickets will not be issued until the appropriate FT1 (Overseas Air Form) or UKAT 1 (UK Air Travel Form) has been received by Omega.  Where possible forms should be sent to Omega by transit addressed to Omega World Travel c/o Post Room, Nobel House.  Omega will collect these twice a day at 10.30am and 2.30pm.  Exceptionally, forms can be faxed to Omega where urgent tickets are required.  This should then be followed with the hard copy to Omega.  Further details and contact numbers are available on Defra on-line.

 

7.37    Train tickets (including for Eurostar) can also be booked via Omega World Travel.  Tickets can ONLY be ordered on receipt of the relevant UKRT 1 (UK rail form) or FT 1 (EUS) (Eurostar form).  Further details and contact numbers are available on Defra on-line.

 

7.38    Car hire (for the UK and overseas) can be booked by telephone and should be directed through the Travel Liaison Unit.  Likewise for London taxi bookings.  Details are available on Defra on-line.

 

7.39    If there are still queries on any of the above, they should be directed to Travel Liaison Unit.

 


 

 

SECTION 8 - Operational Level Plan

 

 

 

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE

 

8.1       Defra is lead Department for the control of Exotic Animal Disease outbreaks.  The Operational-Level Plan forms a Section of the Defra Foot and Mouth Disease Contingency Plan and relates to the operational level structures and functions necessary for effective control, operations and communication in the event of a disease outbreak.  The role of the operational command is to implement contingency plans, working with stakeholders to ensure effective control of the disease outbreak and to receive tactical guidance and implement it, and to provide regular feedback to inform strategic decisions.

 

8.2       The Operational Level centres around the Local Disease Control Centre(s) (LDCC), which may include representatives from other government departments, devolved administrations, agencies, other operational partners and stakeholders.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

7        Manage and co-ordinate the local components of a national response to control and eradicate the notifiable disease outbreak; to allow a return to disease-free status;

7        Identify operational problems and issues and taking authoritative decisions to resolve them;

7        Provide data to the Tactical Level ensuring the accuracy and integrity.

 

8.3       The key aims for administrative and field staff are to work to support veterinary and technical staff in the eradication of disease, establish effective communication with key stakeholders and the rural community and ensure value for money.

 

8.4       Strategic issues should be addressed at the Defra FMD Strategy Board, the Government FMD Co-ordination Committee, the Daily Emergency Direction Group and their associated groups.

 

8.5       Tactical issues should only be addressed at the Defra Daily Exercise Direction Group, Daily Communications Meeting and National Disease Control Centre (Birdtable Meetings).

 

8.6       Operational decisions are devolved (in the main) to the Local Disease Control Centre under the overall control of the Regional Operations Director.

 

 


ACTIVATION

 

Authority

 

8.7       The following Defra Officers can initiate the establishment of the LDCC:

 

            1)         Divisional Veterinary Manager (DVM)

            2)         Head of Veterinary Service (HVS)

            3)         Director SVS

 

PROCESS

 

8.8       SVS Instructions cover the implementation of control measures and guidance on the establishment of a LDCC.

 

8.9       Once FMD is confirmed, the Director of the SVS will authorise the establishment of an LDCC and confirm this with the DVM and HVS.

 

8.10    Each AHDO maintains a list of local organisation details for personnel (including other government departments, the devolved administrations, stakeholders and operational partners) that must be contacted upon confirmation of disease.  The DVM is responsible for notification.

 

8.11    The DVM/HVS will contact the Heads of LDCC Teams.  This will trigger the release of further personnel for the LDCC.  The LDCC will develop as the necessary control measures are implemented.

 

INVOLVEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS AND OPERATIONAL PARTNERS

 

8.12    DVMs will engage with local stakeholders as part of their routine emergency-preparedness arrangements and where possible include them in the planning and implementation of regular local exercises.  It is important that LVIs should be fully engaged in developing these arrangements.  DVMs must establish strong links with their local Police Force strategic (Gold) command as this is recognised by all key local agencies as the co-ordination point for emergency response.  It is also essential that DVMs have established regular contact with their Local Authority Emergency Planning Officers, Trading Standards Officers, Environment Agency Emergency Planners, the Government Office Emergencies Team and the Health Protection Agency.  All these agencies must know and understand the FMD contingency plans (including relevant sections of SVS Instructions and local office contingency plans) and the DVM must have established their capabilities, roles and responsibilities in the event of an outbreak.

 

8.13    An outline of local stakeholder capabilities is at Annex N.

 

8.14    In an outbreak , RODs and DVMs will engage fully with operational partners and all those affected by the disease and its management and control including farmers’ organisations, rural businesses and local community organisations.

 

ADMINISTRATION

 

Location

 

8.15    The Local Disease Control Centre will initially be set up in the relevant AHDO (as outlined in the local contingency plan).  Building and Estate Management Division will invoke their contingency arrangements to allow the establishment of the LDCC in more permanent accommodation.

 

Facilities

 

8.16    The Facilities Team are responsible for:

 

7        telephone lines, telephone handsets and headsets in the LDCC;

7        supply and maintenance of IT equipment (computers, printers etc.).

 

Document Management

 

8.17    Documents should be managed in line with the policies set out in the Records Management Website (on Defra on-line).

 

Security

 

8.18    Security Branch are available to advise on security generally.  Contact details can be found on the Page Street website.

 
Travel/Accommodation

 

8.19    Hotel, flight, train or hire car bookings can all be made through Defra contracted companies.

 

Hotels can be booked direct or be booked through one of our Nominated Hotel Booking Agents.  Agent details are available on Defra on-line.

 

7        Flights can be booked via Omega World Travel, however tickets will not be issued until the appropriate FT1 (Overseas Air Form) or UKAT1 (UK Air Travel Form) has been received by Omega.  Where possible forms should be sent to Omega by transit addressed to Omega World Travel c/o Post Room, Nobel House.  Omega will collect these twice a day at 10.30am and 2.30pm.  Exceptionally, forms can be faxed to Omega where urgent tickets are required.  This should then be followed with the hard copy to Omega.  Further details and contact numbers are available on Defra on-line.

 

7        Train tickets (including for Eurostar) can also be booked via Omega World Travel.  Tickets can ONLY be ordered on receipt of the relevant UKRT1 (UK rail form) or FT1 (EUS) (Eurostar form).  Further details and contact numbers are available on Defra on-line.

 

Car hire (for the UK and overseas) can be booked by telephone and should be directed through the Travel Liaison Unit.  Likewise for London taxi bookings.  Details are available on Defra on-line.

 

8.20    If there are still queries on any of the above, they should be directed to Travel Liaison Unit.


ANNEX A

 

VETERINARY GUIDANCE FOR INITIAL ACTION
 ON SUSPECT CASES

 

LEVEL OF SUSPICION

 

IMMEDIATE ACTION

Level 0 – disease not suspected following veterinary inquiry. 

All restrictions on premises lifted, no further action.

Level 1 – lesions and clinical disease not typical – but disease cannot be ruled out entirely on clinical grounds.

Suspect animal(s) left alive and observed.  Samples taken for laboratory diagnosis.  Form A premises restrictions  enforced.  Form C area restrictions imposed.

Level 2  - lesions and clinical disease suggestive of FMD but not entirely convincing.

Suspect animal(s) showing lesions slaughtered on suspicion.  Samples submitted for laboratory diagnosis.  Form A premises restrictions enforced.  Form C area restrictions imposed.

Level 3  - veterinary staff on farm and at HQ believe from investigation on clinical grounds that disease exists.

All susceptible livestock on the premises slaughtered on suspicion.  Samples submitted for laboratory diagnosis.   Form A premises restrictions enforced.  Form C area restrictions imposed.

Level 4  - as at level 3 plus disease already confirmed in the country or substantial evidence that disease may have entered the country for example disease in imported animals originating from a region with confirmed FMD

Disease confirmed on clinical grounds only without awaiting laboratory results. Samples submitted for laboratory diagnosis.  Form A premises restrictions enforced.  Form C area restrictions imposed. All susceptible livestock on the premises slaughtered.  Dangerous contacts traced and slaughtered depending on veterinary assessment.  Restricted Infected Area Order imposed.

 

 


ANNEX B

 

DECISION TREE FOR DISEASE CONTROL STRATEGIES AGAINST FMD

 

DISEASE CONTROL STRATEGIES:  FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (FMD DECISION TREE)

 

 

Introduction

 

1.         This paper outlines the measures that may be taken to slaughter or vaccinate animals in the event of an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). It sets out the factors the Government will take into account in deciding which strategy to adopt in order to control and eradicate the disease in the future.

 

2.         The EU Council Directive on FMD, 85/511 as amended, requires slaughter of all susceptible animals on infected premises, and provides for culling of susceptible animals on epidemiologically linked holdings (known as dangerous contacts). This reflects the EU's policy of adopting "FMD free without vaccination" status for all Member States, and is provided for in Defra's FMD Contingency plan.  The EU Commission has brought forward revisions to the FMD Directive.  This is being discussed with stakeholders as negotiations on it proceed.

 

3.         Beyond this basic strategy, which will apply in all cases, there are a range of additional options and strategies potentially available depending on the circumstances of a particular outbreak and on the scientific and veterinary advice. Section 14B of the Animal Health Act 1981 (as amended) requires the Secretary of State to consider what is the most appropriate means of preventing the spread of disease, in particular the use of vaccination.  The Commission's proposal for a new FMD Directive also promotes consideration of emergency vaccination.  The range of options includes: -

 

7        culling of other livestock exposed to the disease (e.g. premises under virus plumes, contiguous premises); and,

 

7        emergency vaccination (either to live or to kill; within an area or in a ring around an area);

 

7        pre-emptive or ‘firebreak’ culling of animals which are not on infected premises nor are dangerous contacts nor are necessarily exposed to the disease, in order to prevent the wider spread of the disease outwith an area.

 

4.         Since each disease outbreak is different and each has to be tackled at speed and – inevitably – with imperfect information it is not possible to prescribe in detail which strategy will be followed in advance of knowing the circumstances of a particular outbreak.  This calls for a flexible approach, which recognises that different approaches may be needed in different geographical areas or to deal with different species.  Nevertheless, there is clear advantage in reaching a view on the likely options for response in advance.  Accordingly, this paper and the enclosed “decision tree” seeks to set out:

 

7        The factors that would be taken into account in deciding whether to use emergency vaccination and if so whether to vaccinate to live or kill.

7        The factors that would be taken into account in deciding slaughter policy.

 

5.         The Government’s objective in tackling any fresh outbreaks of FMD will be to eradicate the disease as quickly as possible and to maintain the UK’s disease-free status.  In doing so, the Government will seek to select a control strategy which:

 

7        causes the least possible disruption to the food, farming and tourism industries, to visitors to the countryside, and to rural communities and the wider economy;

 

7        minimises the number of animals which need to be slaughtered, either to control the disease or on welfare grounds, and which keeps animal welfare problems to a minimum;

 

7        minimises damage to the environment and protects public health;

 

7        minimises the burden on taxpayers and the public at large.

 

 

VACCINATION POLICY

 

6.         In responding to the FMD Inquiries the Government has made clear that where measures additional to the culling of infected animals and dangerous contacts are needed, emergency vaccination will be considered as part of the control strategy.  The Government also accepts that if emergency vaccination is used it should be on the basis of vaccinate-to-live wherever possible. 

 

7.         EU legislation allows for the use of emergency vaccination in circumstances where an outbreak of FMD threatens to become extensive in the Member State concerned.  The proposed new FMD Directive, when adopted, would allow an emergency vaccination strategy to be more fully effective.

 

8.         The decision to introduce emergency vaccination is normally taken by the European Commission in consultation with Member States in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, although Member States can vaccinate and then seek the EU’s agreement later.  Two types of vaccination strategy are envisaged:

 

            (i)         "Protective Vaccination"  (Vaccination to live)

            (ii)        "Suppressive Vaccination"  (Vaccination to kill)

 

9.         The Inquiries investigated in detail the issues involved in employing emergency vaccination. Between them they highlighted a range of significant questions that would need to be addressed, particularly as regards vaccination to live, but concluded that once these were resolved, the option of emergency vaccination to live should be the preferred approach. The Government is committed to tackling these issues in consultation with all interested parties so that it is in a position to trigger an emergency vaccination campaign should the need arise.  As part of this process it is essential to have stakeholder support and the Government has engaged in dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders in order to achieve, so far as possible, a shared understanding in advance of an outbreak of the factors which influence the choice of control options.  The Decision Tree is intended to assist this process.

 

Protective Vaccination (Vaccination to live)

 

10.       This strategy would be considered:-

           

7        where veterinary and scientific advice is that an outbreak could not be contained by stamping out of Infected Premises and Dangerous Contacts alone;

7        where a defined category of animals could be identified for protection, either in geographical or species terms; this could include pet or sanctuary animals within a vaccination zone;

7        to protect, where appropriate, zoo animals and rare breeds collections as recommended by the Royal Society.

 

11.       More generally, this option is likely to carry advantages where the population density of susceptible animals is high; where pigs are the main species involved; where there is a high risk of airborne spread; where the origin of the outbreak is unknown; where incidence is rising rapidly, and where the distribution of outbreaks is widespread.

 

 

Suppressive Vaccination (Vaccinate to kill)

 

12.       This strategy could be considered where the number of animals to be culled is likely to exceed the available disposal capacity.  In those instances, animals in defined areas would be vaccinated first and slaughtered only as disposal capacity became available.  It could also be used where there is an urgent need to reduce the amount of virus circulating in an area and reduce the risk of spread beyond that area.

 

STAMPING OUT POLICY

 

13.       EU Directive 85/511 lays down the minimum measures Member States must take against FMD.  The Directive requires slaughter of all susceptible animals on infected premises, and provides for culling of susceptible animals on epidemiologically linked holdings, as well as culling of susceptible animals on holdings where FMD is suspected.

 

14.       UK legislation allows for slaughter of: 

 

7        Animals affected or suspected of being affected with FMD.

7        Animals which are believed to have been exposed to FMD infection.

7        Animals to prevent the spread of FMD e.g. a 'firebreak' cull.

 

 

 

Animals affected or suspected of being affected

 

15. When the State Veterinary Service (SVS) is made aware of suspicion of foot and mouth disease in animals they will arrange for a veterinary investigation to be undertaken. 

 

16.       The decision to slaughter will be based either on the results of laboratory tests carried out on samples arising from animals suspected of being affected with disease, or on clinical evidence of disease.  In an area considered to be free of disease, except in exceptional circumstances, it is likely that disease will be confirmed on laboratory results.  However, once disease has become established in an area it is likely that cases will be confirmed on clinical grounds alone in order to ensure animals are slaughtered quickly. 

 

Animals which are believed to have been exposed to infection 

 

17.       Animals may be slaughtered if they are believed to have been exposed to infection.  In these cases, animals will be subject to a veterinary inquiry to determine if, in the opinion of the Veterinary Inspector, they have been exposed.  In making this judgement the Veterinary Inspector may take account of national information from experts that animals in certain areas have been exposed. 

 

18.       Animals that are believed to have been exposed to infection are known as Dangerous Contacts.  This can include animals on contiguous premises.  As virus can be excreted by such animals prior to the development of obvious and identifiable clinical signs, it is important that they are culled as soon as possible to stop virus production and hence spread of disease.  A decision to slaughter will be taken by the veterinary inspector based on information gathered during the inquiry (e.g. geographical, epidemiological) and account will be taken of levels of biosecurity.  The action that we take will depend on a risk assessment.  Where it is believed that the likelihood is that exposed animals are at a high risk of becoming diseased they will be slaughtered.  Where that risk is lower and there are the resources to observe the animals, they will be restricted and observed.  So our action depends not only on the degree of risk but our ability to mitigate the risk by having available the necessary resources to observe animals regularly and our ability to detect early disease in exposed animals and take immediate action should disease occur.

 

19.       Animals can be exposed to infection by many routes.  The following list is not exhaustive and the relative importance of each will depend on a number of factors:     

 

a.         Direct contact with infected animals

b.         Airborne Spread

c.         Movement of a live animal

d.         Movement of a person

e.         Movement of vehicles

f.          Movement of equipment or other materials

g.         Movement of animal products

h.         Movement of feedstuffs or bedding

i.          Movement by wildlife or non-susceptible vector

 

More details of relevant factors for each are given in Annex A.

 

To prevent the spread of disease

 

20.       A third type of slaughter policy is “to prevent the spread of disease”, e.g. to create a ‘firebreak’.  Such a cull might be required in order to protect areas of high livestock density, either as an addition to emergency vaccination or, in some cases, instead of it.  The species and geographical area of the cull would have to be carefully assessed.  Use of this power is described by a Disease Control (Slaughter) Protocol as required by the Animal Health Act 1981 as amended.  The Protocol identifies the criteria to be considered and procedures to be followed should it be considered necessary to call on this power.

 

21.       The Government is committed to using the new slaughter powers only where this is justified by the level of risk of the disease spreading and on the basis of sound veterinary, epidemiological and scientific advice.  Vaccination would have been considered first and if not used the reasons would be published.

 

22.       Any decision to use these wider powers of slaughter would be taken in the light of an overall assessment of the risks, costs and benefits in a given situation. This could include not only risks of transmission but also social and economic risks that would arise if effective and timely action were not taken.  The Government would justify its decision to use the slaughter powers, explaining the veterinary, epidemiological and other relevant factors that had been taken into account.

 

 


 

 

 

 



FMD decision tree - FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED              

 

Each decision on the tree is taken on the basis of a number of factors.  The decision matrix has been based on a USDA paper but has been adapted to take account of the fact that any disease control strategy in the UK must take account of the relevant EU and domestic legal framework.

 

In using the decision tree, the following factors should be taken into account at each decision point.  Modelling – economic & epidemiological – will be used to assist in identifying trigger points. The Government accepted the recommendation of the UK Lessons Learned Inquiry to undertake a cost-benefit analysis of different FMD control strategies.  This will be undertaken in 2003.  The results from this would help inform decisions concerning disease control strategies in a future outbreak.

 

At decision box 1:  can disease be eradicated by stamping out alone (of Infected Premises and Dangerous Contacts)? 

 

All outbreak and mitigation factors need to be considered at this point in deciding whether stamping out alone will eradicate the disease.  However at the start of an outbreak information on many of these factors will be incomplete and this may not be available until well into the outbreak.   Decisions may need to be revisited as more information becomes available.  

 

Outbreak factors

7        Time from introduction of infection to detection (epidemiology);

7        Contact rate:  type of farms; direct and indirect movement and distance of movement; efficacy of movement controls;

7        Host or species affected – the species affected and species at risk (manifestation of clinical signs leading to early recognition): domestic livestock only – whether disease is in pigs, cattle or sheep; game farms/zoos – how effective would isolation methods be; wildlife. 

7        Status of outbreak – estimation of the extent of the geographical distribution of FMD and duration of epidemic: number of affected herds; number of foci of infection; rate of spread.  Use of epidemiological models. 

7        Environmental: livestock density and distribution; livestock management; standards of biosecurity; casual access – network of roads, etc; physical barriers.

7        Climate – does it favour airborne spread? 

 

Mitigation factors:

 

7        Physical resources: slaughter capacity; transportation capacity; disposal capacity.  Incineration - max 1000 tonnes per week (2000 bovines or 20,000 sheep or 10,000 pigs approx.)  Rendering - max 15,000 tonnes per week

7        Human resources: emergency response system i.e. are there sufficiently trained staff for stamping out and to maintain movement controls; what are the epidemic projections?  Defra’s Contingency Plan identifies the resources needed to deal with an outbreak of FMD. 

7        Socio-political factors: The current FMD EU Directive 85/511 (and the proposed FMD directive which is currently being negotiated) requires slaughter of all susceptible animals on Infected Premises and provides for culling of susceptible animals on epidemiologically linked holdings (known as Dangerous Contacts); public opinion; industry acceptance; other affected sectors e.g. tourism.

7        Economic considerations: compensation; value of exports and value of other affected sectors eg tourism.

 

Decision Box 2:  is emergency vaccination  possible? 

 

2.         Physical resources to be considered:

 

7        Vaccine strain availability – Is there a vaccine available?  The UK has its own stocks of 8 different FMD antigen strains held, on its behalf, by a commercial supplier.  In addition, the EU Vaccine Bank holds a range of antigens for emergency use.  The UK is also a member of the International Vaccine Bank to which it has drawing rights of 500,000 doses for each of the 7 strains of FMD antigen kept by them.

7        Number of vaccine doses available – Doses available vary depending on the strains.  (Defra is keeping the availability of strains and quantities under review). 

7        Emergency vaccination strategy i.e. ring or firebreak vaccination – the strategy would depend on factors such as the virulence of the strain, number of foci of infection, density and species of livestock in likely vaccination zone, etc.  The Government accepted in its Response to the UK Inquires into FMD that it should draw up arrangements for a process of prior registration of zoos and rare breeds for possible emergency vaccination in a future outbreak. 

7        Vaccination logistics – this will be covered by the SVS operational field instructions.  To comply with the UK Marketing Authorisation for FMD vaccines, a second dose would be required 3-4 weeks after the first dose. However, the need for a second inoculation or a booster will depend on the length of time that active disease is present.  Where the policy is vaccinate-to-slaughter a 1-dose strategy is more likely to be used.  (In an emergency, Article 8 of Directive 2001/82 /EC would provisionally allow the use of FMD vaccines which do not have UK Marketing Authorisations (MAs) in the absence of a suitable medicinal product and after informing the Commission of the detailed conditions of use.)

7        Vaccine distribution – vaccine would be procured centrally and distributed to field vaccination teams via regional vaccination centres.

7        Laboratory capacity/ability to distinguish vaccinates from infected – Laboratory capacity exists to undertake testing.  However, there are currently no internationally recognised standards for NSP testing.  There are a variety of NSP tests at differing levels of validation.  The Government accepts that the validation of NSP (non-structural protein) tests is a key area.  There are currently a number of research projects in the UK, Europe and America and many of the European groups are partners in a European Union Concerted Action project on FMD diagnosis.  The main limiting factor for the validation of such tests is the availability of suitable panels of sera, especially from vaccinated and then challenged animals.  Defra is supporting research into this area.  In addition, the Government also accepts that there is a need to develop accepted strategies for surveillance after vaccination.  This is something that the OIE has under consideration.

7        Time – Whether there would be enough time for vaccination to be completed before spread of infection would depend on the epidemiological projections during the outbreak.  Need for modelling input. 

 

3.         Human resources to be considered: 

 

7        Emergency response system – need to have sufficient numbers of vaccinators available.  The revised Viper Chapter 3A will deal with recruitment and training of vaccinators.  Current arrangements provide for 50 fully trained vaccination teams (each consisting of 1 vaccinator, 1 ear tag reader and 1 recorder) to be made available, with provision to increase this number of teams within 4/5 days of notification to meet an increased demand for additional resources.  There are also human resource implications in carrying out NSP testing of all vaccinated herds/flocks.

7        Movement controls are a recognised part of any UK control strategy.  Specific restrictions will apply on movement of vaccinated animals and products from vaccinated animals within the vaccination zone as laid down by EU.  There will be welfare considerations in establishing a vaccination zone.  Need sufficient staff to monitor movement controls. 

7        Epidemic projections – different for each outbreak. 

 

4.         Socio-political factors to be considered:  

 

7        Stakeholders – there needs to be a communications plan that should be communicated to stakeholders in advance.  Need active engagement with stakeholders especially on FSA advice on safety and to clarify any labelling and export issues.

7        Available legislation – Powers to vaccinate against FMD are available.   The AHA 2002 provides enhanced powers of entry for emergency vaccination of susceptible animals.  Any decision to carry out emergency vaccination would have to be agreed by the EU.  Parallel OIE rules need also to be considered. 

7        Industry opinion – Stakeholders to be kept involved in developments connected with the issue of vaccination i.e. FMD Directive, changes to the OIE Code, implications for the resumption of trade.  Stakeholder involvement (should be all-inclusive) and agreement would be important in any decision to vaccinate.

 

 

 

5.         Economic considerations to be considered: 

 

7        Cost of vaccination – as part of its contingency planning, against a future outbreak of FMD, the UK has purchased a range of antigens.   Additional costs would be those of formulating the vaccine from the antigen, or of acquiring vaccine if the strain was not one held.  The cost of vaccination equipment, training and employing staff as part of a vaccination campaign also needs to be costed into the equation.

7        Value of exports – the extended period in which exports would be restricted would need to be weighed against the benefit to wider rural economy and tourism from killing and disposing of fewer animals. 

7        Regionalisation – would be required under the proposed FMD Directive where the outbreak threatens to become extensive or if emergency vaccination is used.  The proposed Directive sets out the controls that would apply within a regionalised zone.    

 

Decision Box 3:  is the exit strategy “vaccinate to live”? 

 

6.         Physical resources to be considered: 

 

7        Slaughter capacity – vaccinate to live is likely to reduce pressure on slaughter capacity whereas as vaccinate to slaughter might lead to higher numbers for slaughter than a stamping out policy (the Dutch experience).  Capacity would need to be able to cope with slaughter of vaccinates and slaughter of infected livestock in a vaccinate-to-slaughter scenario. 

7        Disposal capacity – The higher numbers generated by a vaccinate to slaughter policy may result in disposal becoming a limiting factor.  A vaccinate to live policy would help alleviate disposal problems.

7        Controls on products from vaccinated animals - Under EU rules, products from vaccinates would need to be kept separate from non-vaccinates.  This may raise practical problems for the processing industry.  The proposed FMD Directive sets out the post vaccination controls that would be required following emergency vaccination.   Stakeholders are currently being consulted on the proposed controls and the possible costs. 

7        Time – If a vaccinate to slaughter policy was followed it would be more cost-effective to cull after the first inoculation.  See Box 2 criteria on physical resources.

7        Identification:  individual identification of vaccinated livestock is required under the proposed FMD Directive so that either one can ensure that all vaccinates are killed or products from vaccinates are correctly treated.  Currently very difficult for anything other than cattle.  Call-off contracts are being put in place to purchase ear tags to identify vaccinated animals. 

 

 

 

 

 

7.         Human resources to be considered: 

 

7        Emergency response system – Current and future arrangements for delivery of a vaccination programme take account of the need to implement a vaccinate to live strategy which, by implication, may require 2 or more doses to be administered.  For a vaccinate to slaughter policy, we would need to consider whether we had the necessary staff ie. slaughtermen. 

7        Epidemic projections.  As above.

 

8.         Socio-political factors to be considered:

 

7        Available legislation – The AHA allows for emergency vaccination as does EC 85/511.  The AHA allows for the slaughter of vaccinates and for payment of compensation for vaccinated animals which are compulsorily slaughtered.  The proposed FMD Directive explicitly provides for the option of suppressive vaccination ie. vaccination to kill, as well as protective vaccination ie. vaccination to live.  The Government has made clear its preference for protective vaccination. 

7        Public opinion – Public are likely to support a vaccinate to live policy and this would be in line with Follett and Anderson Inquiry recommendations.  Labelling for vaccinated products is an issue that needs to be resolved through discussion with stakeholders. 

7        Industry acceptance –possible pressure from trade, and other Member States, to slaughter vaccinates to regain FMD free status.  Need to engage industry stakeholders. 

 

9.         Economic considerations to be considered: 

 

7        Cost of vaccinate to slaughter – include the costs of vaccination (Box 4) plus the cost of slaughter and disposal of all vaccinates.  

7        FMD free status – this can be regained 3 months earlier where suppressive vaccination is used.  However, there are other economic considerations that will need to be taken into account in a full cost benefit analysis (see earlier decision boxes). 

7        Compensation – Cost of compensation for slaughtered vaccinates would substantially increase overall costs of epidemic.

7        Value of exports versus benefit to wider rural economy.

7        Regionalisation – As for Box 2. 

 

At decision box 4:  are there additional culling strategies that are appropriate  to the circumstances?   

 

In some circumstances culling additional to DCs and IPs may be the optimal solution based on a risk assessment.  This culling  could take a number of forms – contiguous premises (where these are judged to have been exposed to infection) or preventive culling where scientific and veterinary advice is that this will prevent further spread of disease outwith the area.  In choosing between these and other additional forms of culling a number of factors will need to be taken into account: 

 

10.       Socio-political factors to be considered:

 

7        Available legislation – The Animal Health Act 1981 (as amended) provides the necessary powers including the power to slaughter pre-emptively in order to stop the spread of the disease.  The AHA places a duty on the Secretary of State to consider emergency vaccination before using the pre-emptive slaughter powers. 

7        Public & industry opinion - contiguous and 3km culls were controversial aspects of FMD 2001.

 

 

11.       Economic considerations to be considered:

7        compensation – additional culling may significantly increase the amount paid in compensation. 

7        value of exports & other economic costs particularly in the wider countryside and for tourism.  There are extra costs involved in additional culling. 

7        Regionalisation – this is provided for by the proposed FMD Directive.

 

At decision box 5:  are resources available for additional culling strategies?  

 

A limiting factor is whether adequate resources exist to accommodate the anticipated number of additional livestock in addition to those slaughtered under stamping out. 

 

12.       Physical resources to be considered:

 

7        slaughter capacity – does the capacity exist to slaughter animals both under the stamping out policy and additional culling;

7        transportation capacity – does the transport capacity exist to remove animals from farm for disposal under an additional culling scenario;

7        disposal capacity - does the capacity exist to dispose of animals under the stamping out policy and additional culling in environmentally acceptable ways;

7        time ie are there sufficient resources to accommodate additional culling before such livestock develop FMD; identification of all premises included in an additional cull. 

 

13.       Human resources to be considered:

 

7        emergency response system ie are there sufficiently trained staff to carry out an additional culling policy without adversely impacting on other key control policies i.e. enforcing movement controls, etc;

7        what are the epidemic projections – epidemiological modelling of high risk groups. 


Annex A

Some of the routes by which animals can be exposed to infection

 

 

a.         Direct contact with infected animals

 

1.         Infection is rapidly and efficiently passed from an infected animal to an uninfected, susceptible animal by direct contact between the animals.  When establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following direct contact with an infected live animal, the following factors will be taken into account:

 

i.          Physical nature of barrier between infected animal and susceptible uninfected animal.

ii.         Distance between animals.

iii.        Nature of the contact between animals .

iv.        Amount of virus excretion.  

 

b.         Airborne Spread

 

2.         Virus can be exhaled by an infected animal.  The virus may be carried on air currents to susceptible, uninfected stock.  The greatest risk of infection will be to stock on premises that are close to an IP though under certain circumstances more distant premises, possibly some distance away, may also be considered to have been exposed by such a route.  (This is different to the culling to prevent the spread of disease that is covered in paragraph 25).  When establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following airborne spread of virus the following factors will be taken into account:

 

i.          Species of infected animals.

ii.         Species of uninfected, susceptible animals.

iii.        Pathogenicity and virulence of the viral strain.

iv.        Prevailing wind direction during the period when animals on the IP are considered to have been excreting virus in exhaled air.

v.         Distance between the infected and uninfected animals.

vi.        Environmental conditions that could contribute to virus survival, e.g. temperature and humidity.

vii.       Likelihood of release of airborne virus, e.g. nature of housing or measures to control air outlets from housed livestock.

viii.      Likelihood of exposure to the airborne virus. e.g. nature of housing or measures to control air supply to livestock.

 

c.         Movement of a live animal

 

3.         Before disease is suspected and subsequently confirmed on a premises it is possible that an animal could, quite legitimately, have moved off that premises.  Although disease had not been suspected, it is possible that disease was present when that animal moved off the premises.  If that animal was itself infected it could infect other susceptible livestock at any time after leaving the premises.

 

4.         When establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following the movement of a live animal, the following factors will be taken into account:

 

 

i.          Likelihood the animal could have taken infection from the IP.

ii.         Nature of contact with susceptible uninfected animals.  (See (a) above.)

 

d.         Movement of a person

 

5.         A person moving from a premises where infection was present could transmit infective material on their skin, hair, clothes or footwear.  When establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following the movement of a person, the following factors will be taken into account:

 

i.          Likelihood that the person could have taken infection from the IP.

ii.         Nature of biosecurity measures on leaving the IP and before any contact with susceptible uninfected animals. 

iii.        Likelihood the person could have introduced infection to susceptible uninfected animals.

 

e.         Movement of vehicles

 

6.         Vehicles could carry infection from a premises where infection was present to other premises where susceptible livestock are present.  Such vehicles could include:

 

i.          Livestock transports.

ii.         Vehicle moving between livestock under the same ownership.

iii.        Vehicles collecting agricultural products, e.g. milk, wool etc.

iv.        Vehicle delivering agricultural products e.g. feed, fertiliser, fuel etc.

v.         Vehicle delivering non-agricultural products, e.g. post.

vi.        Vehicle bringing persons etc for working on the premises.

 

7.         The infective material could be carried anywhere on or in the vehicle.  When establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following a vehicle movement, the following factors will be taken into account:

 

i.          The nature of the contact with infected animals or materials from infected animals.

ii.         Whether there was any cleansing and disinfection of the vehicle after contact with infected animals or materials and before contact with uninfected susceptible livestock.

iii.        Whether the conditions during the journey would have rendered the virus non-viable. 

iv.        The nature of the contact with susceptible uninfected animals. 

 

 

f.          Movement of equipment or other materials

 

8.         Equipment or other materials used on a premises where infection was present could carry infective material to susceptible, uninfected animals.  Such equipment could range widely, from large feed mixers to thermometers.  In establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following movement of equipment the following factors will be taken into account:

 

i.          The nature of the contact between the item and infected animals.

ii.         The nature of the contact between the item and susceptible, uninfected animals.

iii.        Whether there was any cleansing and disinfection of the item.

 

 

g.         Movement of animal products

 

9.         Products from infected animals could contain viable virus that could infect susceptible, uninfected animals.  Such products include milk, slurry, manure, meat, carcases (see also scavenging at (j) below).  When establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following any movement of animal products the following factors will be taken into account:

 

i.          Likelihood that the product contains viable virus.

ii.         Effectiveness of any treatment undertaken before it leaves the IP or before it comes into contact with uninfected susceptible animals.

iii.        Interval between removal of product and contact with the susceptible, uninfected animals.

 

h.         Movement of feedstuffs or bedding

 

10.       Products from infected animals could contaminate forages, feedstuffs and bedding materials with viable virus that could infect susceptible, uninfected animals.  Such products include hay, silage, straw, materials used to contain or transport such products.  In establishing if animals have been exposed to infection following movement of these products the following factors will be taken into account:

 

i.          Likelihood that the product contains viable virus.

ii.         Effectiveness of any treatment undertaken before it leaves the IP or comes into contact with uninfected susceptible animals.

iii.        Interval between removal of product and contact with the susceptible, uninfected animals.

 

j.          Movement by wildlife or non-susceptible vector

 

11.       This is when a species of animal that is not susceptible to infection carries infective material from an IP either inadvertently or during scavenging. It is difficult to prevent this though good husbandry should reduce the levels of vermin that are attracted to a premises.  Once the animals are slaughtered, and if there is likely to be any delay in disposal, then measures, e.g. rodent control, covering and spraying carcases, etc will be taken by the SVS to minimise this risk.

 

 

 


ANNEX C

 

DISEASE CONTROL (SLAUGHTER) PROTOCOL

 

Introduction

 

1.         The Lessons Learned Inquiry on the 2001 Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak recommended that provision should be made for the possible application of pre-emptive culling policies, if justified by well-informed veterinary and scientific advice, and judged to be appropriate to the circumstances.  Such powers for pre-emptive (or preventive or "firebreak") culling of animals not exposed to FMD infection are included in the Animal Health Act 2002.  It adds to the armoury the Government has to fight FMD by getting ahead of the disease and stopping it spreading.

 

2.         Section 32B of the Animal Health Act 1981, as amended by the Animal Health Act 2002, requires the Secretary of State to have a disease control (slaughter) protocol for the use of the new slaughter power in the Act (Schedule 3, paragraph 3(c)) to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).  This would be a pre-emptive or “firebreak” cull.

 

3.         This power cannot be used unless the protocol has been published and vaccination has first been considered to prevent the spread of disease (Section 14 of the Animal Health Act 1981 as amended).  The reasons for not using vaccination would be published.  The factors to be considered in deciding on the measures to be used to tackle an outbreak of FMD are set out in a separate document - FMD Disease Control Strategies,  referred to as the FMD Decision Tree.  The purpose of this disease control (slaughter) protocol is to identify criteria to be considered and procedures to be followed should it be considered necessary to call on this new slaughter power.

 

Purpose for which the power would be used

 

4.         This power would be used only where this is justified by the circumstances of the possibility of disease spreading and on the basis of sound veterinary, epidemiological and scientific advice.  Emergency vaccination would have been considered first and if not used the reasons would be published.

 

The principal factors to be taken into account

 

5.         A major factor will be to get ahead of the disease.  It could apply in particular to protect areas of dense livestock population.  The cull would include those animals which, should they become affected, would present a significant risk to the farming and livestock community more generally by contributing to onward spread.  It is in such circumstances that effective preventative action may be necessary to safeguard the wider public interest. Species, geographical area and, if appropriate, type of farming would be relevant.  Any decision to use the wider powers of slaughter would be taken in the light of an overall assessment of the risks, costs and benefits in a given situation.  This could include not only risks of transmission but also social and economic risks that would arise if effective and timely action were not taken.

 

The procedure to be followed in reaching a decision

 

6.         Such a decision could not be made until the use of emergency vaccination had been considered and, if not used, the reasons published.

 

7.         The steps to be taken would then comprise:

 

(a)       the identification of a group of animals that are likely to contribute to spread of disease, based on epidemiological modelling, veterinary advice and local factors;

 

            (b)       the determination of which species are involved;

 

(c)        consideration of exemptions on the basis of husbandry or other criteria, for example, rare breeds or genetic value;

 

            (d)       the determination of the geographical area involved;

 

(e)       the determination of the rules for inclusion or exclusion of animals at the boundary of that area;

           

            (f)         analysis of risks, costs and benefits;

 

(g)       the publication of an outline of the reasons why such a cull is needed.

 

The procedure by which animals on a premises will be deemed to be included in a slaughter

 

8.         Premises believed to contain animals to be slaughtered to prevent the spread of disease would be identified.  A Veterinary Inspector would visit and ascertain if animals meet the criteria and are to be slaughtered.

 

9.         The Veterinary Inspector would be required to explain the reasons to the owner and give him an opportunity to provide evidence if he believed the animals should be exempted.  To ensure the reason for slaughter is clear to the owner a slaughter notice would be issued.  The slaughter notice would state the powers under which slaughter is required and the reason why the owner's stock is included (with reference to the criteria for slaughter to prevent the spread of disease).

 

The means by which a particular decision to slaughter can be reviewed

 

10.       Both as part of the slaughter notice and during explanations the owner must be made aware that they can ask the DVM to review the decision that their stock meet the criteria for the cull and be advised how and by when this can be done.

 

11.       The DVM, or a suitable alternative, must be available to hear such reviews.  The following action would be taken:

 

They will consider the views of the owner as to why they believe the decision is wrong. 

They must ensure that the veterinary inspector has carried out a full and fair inquiry to establish if the animals meet the appropriate criteria.


ANNEX D

 

EMERGENCY VACCINATION ARRANGEMENTS

 

1.         Accommodation

The current agreement with ADAS starts the process with the establishment of a suitable vaccination centre (a range of suitable sites are currently being investigated by Defra).  In identifying vaccination centres consideration will be given to the following factors:

 

7        good road access to the target area(s) and to any satellite centres - where possible, within the target area;

7        appropriate security systems (day and night);

7        parking;

7        office accommodation for management and administrative staff;

7        appropriate IT and telecoms facilities;

7        secure refrigerated storage facilities for vaccine;

7        storage facilities for equipment (vaccination kits, personal protection equipment, footbaths, buckets, brushes, tagging and inspection equipment etc.);