Rural Economy and Land Use ProgrammeCentre for Rural EconomySchool of Agriculture, Food and Rural DevelopmentNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RUTelephone: 0191 222 6903Fax: 0191 222 5411Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLost in Translation: Assessing knowledge sources,exchange and effectiveness in animal disease controlA Rural Economy and Land Use project investigating uncertaintyin animal disease management in order to help develop moreintegrated and effective strategies.Policy and Practice NotesNote No. 36March 2012The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme is a UK-wide research programmecarrying out interdisciplinary research on the multiple challenges facing rural areas.It is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Biotechnology andBiological Sciences Research Council and the Natural Environment Research Council,with additional funding from the Scottish Government and the Department forEnvironment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Rural Economy and Land Use ProgrammeLost in Translation: Assessing knowledge sources, exchange and effectiveness in animal disease controlAnimal and zoonotic diseases cause major environmental,social, health and economic problems globally. If uncontainedthey have potentially devastating consequences for communities.Containment strategies vary in scale and scope, from planningand prevention policies through to critical outbreak responses.Quick and timely decisions are often required as new informationbecomes available, at every stage of disease containment, butsuch information is often compromised by uncertainty. An open,holistic, and interdisciplinary approach to relevant knowledgesources is called for.What do we mean by uncertainty?Uncertainty is present whenever knowledge andunderstanding are weak, unsettled or inadequate, butalso arises due to inherent (and often unpredictable)variability in systems and processes.— Uncertainties may range from those associated witha particular procedure or technology, through to therelationships within and between organisations concernedwith containing disease.— Knowledge may be lost in the process of translating it fromresearch into the practical implementation of diseasecontainment. This can lead to further uncertainty.Why is an interdisciplinaryapproach needed?An interdisciplinary approach to understanding theseissues is essential because:— While many of these uncertainties are linked to scientificapproaches, technologies and innovations, they are rarelyquantifiable and benefit from social science approachesto improve understanding.— Typical risk assessment and containment strategiesmay ignore the human dimension and social scienceknowledge, and yet what counts as a disease, its impactand the effectiveness of controls, are often inherentlysocio-technical judgements.— Learning from stakeholders is important, whether they arepolicy practitioners, scientists, farmers or veterinarians.Which diseases were investigated?Animal diseases vary greatly in their biologicalcharacteristics, risk to human health, scale of threat,degrees of urgency, and the challenges they pose forstrategies of containment.The research took a cross-disease approach using threecontrasting diseases:— Foot and Mouth Disease: A highly infectious diseasemainly affecting farm livestock. Causes a fever, followedby blisters and ulceration around the mouth and feet.Severe economic and societal consequences of outbreaks.— Avian Influenza: A viral disease of both wild and domesticbirds. Can cause risks to human health and significanteconomic losses. Potential for transformation into apandemic disease of humans is a great concern for worldhealth policy.— Cryptosporidiosis: Gastrointestinal disease in animalsand humans caused by ingestion of the water-borneparasite Cryptosporidium. Responsible for between3000–6000 human cases of illness per year in the UK.As evidence the researchers used secondary data from socialand natural science databases and combined these withinterviews and focus groups, as well as disease-specificworkshops with stakeholder groups.
Policy and Practice NotesNote No. 36 March 2012What are the different arenas ofaction in disease management?Prevention(Reducing the occurrence of animal disease)Anticipation(Predicting and preparing for disease outbreaks)Alleviation(Responding to disease occurrence)e.g. Constraining disease transmission within livestockpopulations or changing livestock management practicese.g. Experimental modelling of disease scenarios and thedesign and testing of contingency planning arrangementse.g. Procedures adopted to control and eradicate diseaseand manage the long-term repercussions of outbreaksHow does policy influencedisease management?The strategic level(Structures and processes that shape containment)The tactical level(Procedures and tools for decision making)The operational level(Practical contexts of disease containment)e.g. The use of legislation to mandate stakeholders to act ondisease risks, such as continuous sampling in the UK under the1999 Cryptosporidium Regulationse.g. Elaboration of criteria for intervening in disease outbreaks,such as the creation of surveillance protection zonese.g. The process of vaccinating birds or livestock or theimplementation of biosecurity measures at livestock marketsThe cycle of disease containment applied to Avian Influenza (Fish et al 2011)PreventionAnticipationAlleviationOperationallevelImplementationof measuresImportsmeasurese.g. veterinarychecks includinglaboratory testingUptake of farmlevel biosecuritye.g.covered/netted outdoorenclosuresEpidemiologicalmodellinge.g. spatiallyexplicit stochasticsimulation modelsContingencyplanningexercisese.g. ExerciseHawthornePassivesurveillancee.g. FarmervigilanceActivesurveillancee.g. Stratifiedsurvey, bloodsamples to detectantibodies to H5and H7 serotypesof low-path. AI;randomised flockswithin the poultryindustryData assimilatione.g. Rapid Analysisand Detection ofAnimal-relatedRisks SystemEstablishmentof protectionand surveillancezonese.g. Restrictionsimposed at least3km around anoutbreak pointCullinge.g. Firebreakculling of poultryVaccinationDuty of careto animalse.g. Livestockdisposal measuresWorkerprotection advicee.g. Advice onpersonal protectiveequipment; issuingof antiviral therapyTrauma andoutreache.g. Farm CrisisNetworkTactical levelShaping plansand approcachesApproaches toimport controle.g Designationof borderinspection postsand proceduresDomesticbiosecuritycampaignse.g. Give diseasethe boot campaignApproaches tocontingencyplanning andpreparednesse.g. Exotic animaldisease frameworkresponse planOptions forsampling andtesting(at different spatialscales andfrequencies)e.g. Nationalsurvey for Avianinfluenza virusesof subtypes H5and H7 indomestic poultrySlaughter andvaccinationprotocolse.g. Vaccinedelivery plansStrategic levelPolitical,economic,legal basis forinterventionImports policye.g. negotiation ofimport rules forthe UKAnimal healthpolicye.g. UK VeterinarysurveillancestrategyTransnationalinitiativese.g. FAO GlobalFramework for theControl ofTransboundaryAnimal DiseasesLegislativeprovisions(at different spatialscales) e.g. EU AIDirective 2005/94;Avian Influenza &Newcastle Disease(England andWales) Order 2003