Simulation exercise: Foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom

25 and 26 April

Dr Christine Middlemiss, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), United Kingdom, informed the OIE that a simulation exercise on  foot and mouth disease (FMD) called “Exercise Blackthorn”, will take place on 25 and 26 April 2018 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland where national and local disease control arrangements will be set up.

The overall aim is to exercise the Governments’ current contingency plans for a national outbreak of FMD and thereby establish the current state of readiness for such an outbreak whilst identifying issues and improvements in policies, plans, instructions, structures and recovery procedures employed in managing an outbreak.  

The objectives of this simulation exercise are to:

  1. Demonstrate that Government has the capacity and capability to respond to a major exotic disease outbreak through a series of exercises that includes three national strategic table-tops culminating in a two day real-time exercise simulation.
  2. To exercise the outbreak response model, structures and processes that have been implemented by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), including operational resourcing.
  3. Within the UK to test the cross-governmental strategic response to a notifiable exotic animal disease outbreak.
  4. To test the interface between National, Central and Local response structures including operational partners and stakeholders.
  5. To plan and exercise recovery arrangements in the event of an outbreak of FMD.
  6. To exercise the real-time use of the animal reporting and movement systems to demonstrate the effectiveness of the systems during an outbreak of FMD in relation to sheep & cattle movement.

In addition to the live-play on 25 and 26 April 2018 there are three facilitated workshops and a number of small field exercises.

World Animal Health Information and Analysis Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
[email protected]