UK - More farmers now benefit from free carcase collection services where a veterinarian has recommended a post-mortem should be carried out for disease surveillance purposes.
The change came into effect on 3 January 2017 in England after the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carried out a review of its post-mortem examination services. There are no changes to the existing arrangements in Wales.
The APHA works with vets and farmers to investigate and diagnose livestock and poultry disease across Great Britain. It offers a state-of-the-art post-mortem examination (PME) and sample testing service to detect disease in all farmed animals and wildlife.
PME services are provided by a mixture of APHA’s own Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs) and a number of external partners – the University of Bristol, the Royal Veterinary College, the University of Surrey, the Scottish Agricultural College (covering Northumberland) and in Wales, the Wales Veterinary Science Centre (Aberystwyth University).
PMEs have also been provided through the APHA contracts by the use of fallen stock sites in some areas of England. With the extension of the free carcase collection service, the use of these fallen stock sites in England will cease.
Within the catchment area of these PME facilities, usually around an hour’s drive time from the centre, farmers are asked to transport carcases for post-mortem by their own means. However, outside of these catchment areas exists a network of carcase collection contractors who can collect and transport livestock carcases for investigation.
Whilst there is a charge for the post mortem service, carcase collection is provided free of charge to farmers, although only where a post mortem is required – the services are not provided for the purposes of general carcase disposal.
Carcase collection contractors will deliver carcases for pre-agreed diagnostic PME to an APHA VIC or a non-APHA partner PME provider. To find out what services are available in your area and who to contact please look on the APHA Vet Gateway and use the postcode search tool and maps of the surveillance network in England and Wales: http://ahvla.defra.gov.uk/postcode/pme.asp.
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