Version 4.0

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.

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. It is intended only to indicate how Defra and its partners would implement the agreed policies. It will be subject to regular review taking on lessons learned from exercises, policy developments, the latest scientific advice and comments from stakeholders and operational partners.

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 does not consider the costs of implementation or how these costs are to be met. 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 met several times in early 2002 to explore various policy options, including compulsory and voluntary insurance as well as a levy scheme, to share the costs of future disease outbreaks. The group concluded that a levy scheme would be preferable to the other options.  The Government agrees and has decided that a levy scheme is its preferred option for consultation and further development. This work is continuing with a  view to launching a wide ranging consultation exercise in mid-2004. This will cover compensation for animals which are compulsorily slaughtered  and other disease control costs. 

This Plan replaces the version laid before Parliament and published on the Defra website on 28 March 2003. It is drafted to operate under current legislation but also includes references to the potential changes to be made as a result of further anticipated domestic legislation to incorporate the provisions of the new FMD Directive (Council Directive 2003/85/EEC).  Annex F provides a diagram of some of the measures, as set out in the FMD Directive, that may be applied in certain areas for disease control purposes.  

The Plan reflects changes and developments over the last year and builds on input from key operational partners.  It incorporates the Biosecurity guidance which was the subject of a separate consultation, includes guidance on the release of data during an outbreak and anticipates the establishment of a permanent Expert Group, as referred to in the FMD Directive.

The Plan reflects the provisions of the Animal Health Act 1981 (as amended by the Animal Health Act 2002) by reference to emergency vaccination and the Decision Tree for disease control strategies and the disease control slaughter protocol for use in the event of a pre-emptive cull.

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.

.                                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.

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

.                                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;

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

.                                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 April 2004.

Defra are developing a series of exercises over the first 6 months of 2004.  These will culminate in a final exercise in June 2004.  This will be a full invocation of the Defra response at HQ level and in 5 Animal Health Divisional Offices involving operational partners and several other external agencies.  In addition to the national exercise, Animal Health Divisional Offices have been and will continue to hold local exercises, seminars and training days.

The Plan and instructions are being exercised under a variety of scenarios.

The prompt detection and reporting of the initial outbreak of disease are crucial in limiting the ultimate scale of the emergency, and arrangements to enhance surveillance are being taken forward under the Veterinary Surveillance Strategy which was launched in October 2003.  Part of this strategy aims to upgrade the use of information on the numbers and location of livestock, which will be important in the smooth operation of this contingency plan in the event of an outbreak.  Management of the outbreak will also depend upon the availability of geographical information systems and expertise which are being developed outwith this plan.

An updated illegal imports action plan for 2003-2004 was published in June 2003, which consolidates and builds upon progress made since March 2002. Since 1 January 2003 the import of meat, milk and their products into the United Kingdom (UK) from most non-European Union (EU) countries for personal use has been prohibited. There are also restrictions on other products of animal origin. The concession which provides for small quantities of controlled plants and plant products to be imported by travellers from outside the EU for personal use is currently under review.

To improve effectiveness of border controls, all anti-smuggling activity was transferred to Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise on 11 April 2003 and this is proving successful. It also means that more stringent penalties for smuggling prohibited or restricted items of up to seven years’ imprisonment and/or unlimited fines, could be applied through prosecution under the Customs and Excise Management Act. All Customs officers have powers to seize illegal imports.

HM Customs has four mobile strike teams dedicated to the enforcement of restrictions on products of animal origin (POAO). They have also increased the number of detector dogs teams trained to tackle smuggling of POAO. This enforcement activity will be further enhanced over the coming financial year.

A leaflet setting out in detail the rules on personal imports is being distributed via HM Customs, who have taken over responsibility for publicity at our ports and airports. Revised posters are on display in more prominent positions at ports and airports.

 

 

CONTENTS

 

Page
GLOSSARY
10

 

Section 1 – Background, Structures and Policies

 

1.1    Background  15

 

1.5    Outline of Command Structures  15

 

 Single-Line Command Structure for Control of FMD  18

 Diagram showing the development and inter-relationship of
veterinary and scientific advice  19

 Daily Battle Rhythm  20

Section 2 - Alert System & States of Alert

2.2    Action on Suspicion of FMD  21

2.7    AMBER - Action on Suspicion of FMD  21

2.19          RED - Initial Action on Confirmation of FMD  24

2.21          Policies to be applied on confirmation of FMD  25

 

Section 3 - Resources

 

3.1        Involvement of the Armed Forces  27

 

3.5        Human Resources  27

 

3.5        Veterinary Personnel  27

3.8        Regional Operations Directors (RODs) and Divisional
Operations Managers (DOMs)  28

3.12     Administrative, Field and Technical Personnel  29

3.23     Legal Services  30

3.26     Vaccination Teams  31

3.28     Involvement of Stakeholders and Operational Partners  31

 

3.31     Training & Exercises  32

 

3.31  Veterinary Training       32

3.33  AHDO training              32

3.34  Induction Training         32

3.37  Media Training             33

3.38  Contingency Planning Exercises        33

3.39     Health & Safety & Staff Welfare  33

3.44     Accommodation  34

 

3.48     Information Technology & Data Systems  35

 

3.49  Disease Control System (DCS)         35

3.55  Financial System          36

3.57     Procurement  36

3.57     General - Procurement & Commercial Contracting
Contingency Plan  36

3.64     National/Regional/Local Contingency Agreements &
Supply Contingency Arrangements  37

 

3.69  Financial Control          38

 

3.73  Arrangements for Financial Control in NDCC  38

3.74  Arrangements for Financial Control in LDCCs  39

 

3.77  Equipment and Stores             40

 

3.77  National Minimum Stocking Levels    40

3.78  Divisional Minimum Stocking Levels             40

3.80  Stores to Supply Vaccination Teams            40

Section 4 - Key Operations

4.1        Emergency Vaccination  41

4.6        Animal Welfare  42

4.13     Conservation of “Farm Animal Genetic Resources”  43

4.14     Valuation  43

4.18     Protection and Surveillance Zones  44

4.19     Immediate ban on moving livestock  44

4.24     Biosecurity Guidance  45

 

4.26     Disposal  45

 

4.30     Incineration  46

4.34     Rendering  46

4.37     Licensed Commercial Landfill sites  47

4.40     On-Farm burial  47

4.41     Pyre Burning  47

4.43     Serology  48

4.49     Rural Stress Action Plan Working Group  49

4.55     Cleansing & Disinfection of Affected Premises  50

4.57     Rodent Control  50

Section 5 - Management Information & Communications

5.1        Management Information & Disease Control Information  51

 

5.5        Communications  51

 

5.5        Media  51

5.7        Website  52

5.9        Helplines  52

5.10     Central Co-ordination  52

5.12     Notifiable Disease Awareness Programmes  53

5.13     Responding to requests for information  53

5.19     Mobile Assurance Team  54

Section 6 - Strategic Level Plan

 

6.1        Background and Scope  55

 

 Strategic Aims and Objectives  57

 Battle Rhythm – Strategic Level  58

 

 Key Strategic Structures and roles  59

 Defra Emergency Management Board Meeting - Agenda  61

 Strategic Level Roles  72

6.9        FMD Expert Group  77

6.13     Epidemiology  78

6.14     National Emergencies Epidemiology Group  78

Section 7 - Tactical Level Plan

7.1        Background & Scope  79

7.7        Activation  79

7.9        NDCC Team Tasks  80

 Map of Initial High Level Actions following confirmation of
 FMD Outbreak  81

7.23     Stakeholders  83

7.24     Co-ordination  84

7.27     Corporate Communications  84

7.28     Meetings  84

 Battle Rhythm – Tactical (NDCC) Level  86

Section 8 - Operational Level Plan

8.1        Background & Scope  88

8.3        Objectives  88

8.7        Activation Process  89

8.11     Involvement of Stakeholders & Operational Partners  89

Page

Page

Battle Rhythm – Operational (LDCC) Level  90

ANNEXES

 

Page
Annex A
General Legislation  91
Annex B Veterinary Guidance for initial action on suspect
Annex F Diagram showing Protection Zone and
Annex G Veterinary Risk Assessment and Protocol for
Annex H Protocol for restrictions on public rights of way
Annex J Communications - Action by Communications
Contact with Farm Animals
Premises with Farm Animals During an Outbreak
of an Exotic Notifiable Disease

 cases  93

Annex C Decision Tree  94

Annex D Slaughter Protocol  110

 

Annex E Emergency Vaccination Arrangements  113

 

 Surveillance Zone.  117

 Rights of Way Closures  118

 and access to open country, in the event of an
outbreak of Foot and Mouth or similar animal
diseases.  123

Annex I Contacts List  128

 Directorate  132

Annex K Data Protection Act  137

Annex L Organograms of Key Structures - NDCC  138

Annex M Format of FMD Daily Situation Report (SITREP)  139

Annex N Health & Safety Plan  140

Annex O Welfare Service Plan  142

Annex P Biosecurity Advice and Guidance  144

Annex P (A) General Biosecurity Measures when in Direct  152

Annex P (B) Additional Biosecurity Measures when Visiting  154

Page
Annex P (C)
Measures which must be Observed for Visits to
Premises Under Specific Restrictions  155

Annex Q Key Stakeholders - Capabilities  156

 

Annex R Devolved Administrations  160

 

 -Scotland  160

 -Wales  161

 

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

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 – These are animals of susceptible species

 

which are believed to have been exposed to infection.

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 ESSD Estate Strategy and Services Division EU European Union ExDCS Exotics Disease Control System

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 HPA Health Protection Agency HQ Defra Headquarters HR Human Resources HSE Health and Safety Executive HsVS Heads of Veterinary Services in Defra Regions HVS Head of 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

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 NSP Non-structural protein 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

“Pre-emptive” or “preventative slaughter” “firebreak” cull

This involves the culling of animals which are not on infected premises nor are dangerous contacts or necessarily exposed to the disease, in order to prevent the wider spread of disease outwith an area. Use of this power is described by a Disease Control (Slaughter) Protocol as required by the Animal Health Act 1981, as amended.

PZ Protection Zone

RCU RDS RIDDOR

ROD RPA RSAP WG

SAC SAHO SAPER

SEAC

SEERAD SEPA Sitrep SLA SOS SCOFCAH SVS SVSCP

SZ

TVI

VIPER

VA VEXDD VLA VO VTVS

WAG WAG ARAD

Regional Co-ordination Unit (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) Rural Development Service Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurances Regulations Regional Operations Director Rural Payments Agency (Defra Agency) Rural Stress Action Plan Working Group

Science Advisory Council (Defra) Senior Animal Health Officer Science Advisory Panel for Emergency Response Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department Scottish Environment Protection Agency Situation Report Service Level Agreement Slaughter on Suspicion Standing Committees on Food Chain and Animal Health State Veterinary Service State Veterinary Service Contingency Planning Division Surveillance Zone

Temporary Veterinary Inspector

Veterinary Instructions, Procedures and Emergency Routines (State Veterinary Service Operational Instructions) Veterinary Adviser Veterinary Exotic Diseases Division Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Weybridge Veterinary Officer Vetnet Tracing Verification System

Welsh Assembly Government Welsh Assembly Government Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good biosecurity is required to stop onward spread.

BACKGROUND

1.                   1.1 The legislation under which Government action is taken to control foot and mouth disease is set out at Annex A  This Contingency Plan sets out the framework for dealing with an outbreak implementing that legislation.  It augments the structures provided by the EU approved contingency plan.  The Plan provides and details the necessary practices to enable the legislation listed in Annex A to be met and implemented.  It is a working document subject to regular review and update.

2.                   1.2 The Plan follows guidance produced by the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat and Defra’s Emergencies Unit.

3.                   1.3 This framework document within the framework of the EU approved Contingency Plan and 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.

4.                   1.4 The Plan is based on established veterinary procedures and also incorporates some of the control policies that developed from the experience of the 2001 outbreak.

 

OUTLINE OF COMMAND STRUCTURES

Command and Control

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

Strategic Command

1.                   1.6 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).

2.                   1.7 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, Health Protection Agency.

3.                   1.8 Defra’s Science Advisory Council (SAC) exists to ratify, audit, advise 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.

 

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 Q).

1.                   1.11 N.B. This Plan covers operations in England.  Annex R 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.

2.                   1.12 Further action will depend on the circumstances of a particular outbreak and on scientific and veterinary advice. The Decision Tree (Annex C) will be followed in deciding what action to take. 

 

Diagram showing Single-Line Command Structure for  Control of Foot and Mouth Disease

Civil Contingencies Committees

Defra Emergency Strategic Level

Management Board

(including Director General Operations and Service Delivery)

Director of

Operations

(Director of State

Tactical Level

Veterinary Service)

National Disease Control Centre

Local Disease Control Centre Regional Operations Director Operational Level

Divisional Veterinary Divisional Operations Finance

Regional Manager Manager Manager

Resilience Teams, Local Authorities, Environment Agency, Police

Operational Personnel Devolved Administrations, Operational Partners, Government Depts & Agencies, Stakeholder Representation

Stakeholder representation, Operational Partners,

Science feed to policy and tactical levels is shown in the diagram on Page 19.

DEFRA’s FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE CONTINGENCY PLAN

Diagram showing the development and inter relationship of veterinary and scientific advice  and their input to decision making

DEFRA’s FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE CONTINGENCY PLAN

DAILY BATTLE RHYTHM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

07:30-08:00

08:00-08:30

09:30-10:30

 10:30-11:30

11:30-12:00

12:00-12:30

14:30-15:00

15:15-16:00

16:15-17:15

 18:00

19:00-19:30

21:00

Strategic

 

Daily Comms Meeting

Civil Contingen- cies Committee (Officials) CCC(O)

Civil Contingen- cies Committee

Media Briefing

 

 

Defra Manage- ment Board (if required)

 

 

 

 

Tactical (NDCC)

Birdtable

 

 

Emergency Direction Group (10:45-11:15)

 

Birdtable

RODs Teleconfer ence

 

Emergency Direction Group (if required)

Receive RODs Sitrep

Birdtable

NDCC Report Compiled and Circulated

Operational (LDCC)

Birdtable

Daily Manage- ment Comms Meeting

 

 

Media Briefing

Birdtable

RODs Teleconfer ence

 

 

Send SitReps to NDCC

Birdtable

 

 

20

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.

ACTION ON SUSPICION OF FMD

1.                  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. Annex B of this Plan indicates the local veterinary action to be taken in relation to the level of suspicion.

2.                  2.3 All investigations into suspicion of disease are reported to Headquarters. 

3.                  2.4 Responsibility for providing and communicating information on a case of suspect disease, including laboratory results, lies with Veterinary Exotic Diseases Division (VEXD) who use Notification of Disease form NDI 1 to notify Defra Ministers, appropriate Senior Officials within Defra and key veterinary and policy personnel in HQ and the regions, including the Chief Veterinary Officer and the Director of the State Veterinary Service. The NDI 1 form records the appropriate level of suspicion as described in Annex B.

4.                  2.5 Out of Hours notification is the responsibility of the Duty Veterinary Adviser and Duty Press Officer. As the Duty VA is unlikely to have immediate access to the necessary IT equipment, notification of suspicion of disease will be made via telephone calls.  Key veterinary and policy staff will be notified of developments and an NDI 1 circulated at the first available opportunity

5.                  2.6 If the level of suspicion is recorded as Level 1 or above the status of alert will be Amber and the following action will be taken.

 

AMBER

a) The following protocol governing the distribution and timing of release of information on test results, both internally and externally, will be followed: 

Communications Protocol - Laboratory Test Results on a suspect case

2.7 Information will be made available as soon as possible. To enable this a discussion, normally by conference call, will take place with the CVO or nominated representative leading and those listed below participating.

CVO
 DG OSD

 Director SVS
AHWD - Director or Head of Division
LSDG - Director or Head of Division
CD (and GNN)
 Private Offices
 No. 10
VEXDD
SVS Contingency Planning
DVM
HVS
Civil Contingencies Secretariat
News Co-ordination Centre
 SEERAD
 WAG ARAD

1.                  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.                  2.9 The agenda for the communications teleconference call will comprise (with a report from bracketed party)

 

1.                                                 Situation Report - National (CVO or nominated 
representative)

-Local (DVM)

1.                  2.         Timescale (CVO or nominated representative)

2.                  3.         Risk assessment (CVO or nominated representative/DVM)

3.                  4.         Communications objectives (Director of Communications)

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

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

6.                  7.         Time of release and action points (CVO or nominated representative)

 

2.10 The following will 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, the Environment Agency, local NFU and local large animal veterinary practices;

�.-       DVM: local stakeholders, local vets and farmers;

 

-           DCVO (policy): RCVS and BVA

-           AHWD: NFU (HQ)

-           DG OSD: CCS, RCU and EA

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

1.                  2.11 News Releases will be drafted by AHWD in conjunction with CD and must be sent to all internal principals (particularly the DVM and HVS) before being released externally.

2.                  2.12 Questions about test results and timing of their delivery must be addressed to the CVO or nominated contact.

 

End of Protocol

1.                  2.13 The Director of the SVS will put the relevant ROD & DOM on alert and will put the relevant Head of Veterinary Service on immediate standby to cover the ROD post until such time as the nominated ROD can take up position (within approx. 48 hours). Heads of Veterinary Service will debrief and provide a ‘handover’ to RODs (and DOMs) upon their arrival.

2.                  2.14 The Director General Operations and Service Delivery will notify the MOD Home and Special Forces Secretariat of the suspect case. 

3.                  2.15 The Director of the SVS will consider authorising the establishment of a Local Disease Control Centre (LDCC).  The Director of the SVS will also put all nominated Heads of NDCC cells on alert and will consider the establishment of some elements of the National Disease Control Centre (SVS Instructions contain detailed plans for establishment and resourcing).

4.                  2.16 SVS Contingency Planning Division will activate the Emergency First Response Team.  The EFRT will be actively involved in the early stages of managing an animal disease outbreak.  They will set up the first operational desks in the Disease Reporting Team of the NDCC.

5.                  2.17 The Head of Veterinary Exotic Diseases Division will contact SVS ITU in order to instigate the set up of Defra’s Disease Control System (current ‘up and running’ time is 24 – 48 hours).

6.                  2.18 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.

 

RED - INITIAL ACTION ON CONFIRMATION OF FMD

2.19 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:-

.                                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;

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

.                                The Director General Operations and Service Delivery will notify the Home and Special Forces Secretariat, the Regional Co-ordination Unit and Directors of the relevant Government Offices in the Regions;

.                                The Chief Veterinary Officer will notify the Department of Health and Health Protection Agency;

.                                The Director General Land Use and Rural Affairs will notify the Department for Culture, Media and Sports;

.                                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;

.                                the Head of SVS Contingency Planning Division will notify all DVMs and Heads of Veterinary Services to ensure that AHDOs are staffed immediately to deal with enquiries from the public and support tracing requirements;

.                                the Head of SVS Contingency Planning Division will also notify Head of Procurement and Contracts Division, nominated heads of NDCC cells from within Defra, those who will be invited to be represented in the NDCC, and nominated RODs and DOMs;

.                                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;

.                                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;

 

    other Government Departments, operational partners and key local stakeholders such as local authorities will be notified as soon as possible.  Utilities will be notified by LDCCs as set out in the SVS instructions.

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

2.20 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.

OUTLINE OF POLICIES

2.21 The following policies will be applied on confirmation of FMD: (Note: The first case will be confirmed by Laboratory Test)

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

.                                Export health certificates for animals and animal products will be withdrawn. Exports from GB of susceptible animals during the risk period will be identified and notified to the importing countries.

.                                Diseased and other susceptible animals on infected premises will be culled with a target of within 24 hours of report.  Dangerous contacts will be culled with a target of within 48 hours of report.

.                                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.

.                                A Protection Zone will be imposed with a minimum radius of 3km around the Infected Premises and a Surveillance Zone with a minimum radius of 10km. In the Protection Zone no animal movements will be allowed except for movement to emergency slaughter.  In both the Protection and Surveillance Zones, there will be requirements for increased levels of biosecurity on farms, cleansing and disinfection (C&D) of vehicles, people and machinery moving on/off farms.  Movement of animals, animal products, feed and bedding will be prohibited, except under licence.  Products from animals in these zones will be subject to treatment to ensure destruction of the FMD virus. This is an animal health measure rather than a public health measure. Such treatments include the pasteurisation of milk (normal process for most milk produced in the UK), heat treatment or de-boning and maturation of milk.

.                                Disposal by incineration will 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.

.                                Footpaths will 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 G).

 

1.                  2.22 Further action will depend on the circumstances of a particular outbreak and on scientific and veterinary advice. The Decision Tree for FMD control strategies (Annex C) will be followed in deciding what action to take.  This 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 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. If a decision not to vaccinate were taken the reasons would be explained before further measures were introduced. Consultation with interested parties, to address outstanding technical, commercial and communications issues on emergency vaccination is continuing.

2.                  2.23 Additional control strategies include:

 

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

.                                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.

 

2.24 A Disease Control (Slaughter) Protocol setting out the requirements that must be followed in the event of a pre-emptive cull is at Annex D.

Further Action

2.25 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.

INVOLVEMENT OF THE ARMED FORCES

1.                  3.1 On suspicion of disease, the Director General Operations and Service Delivery will contact the MOD Home and Special Forces Secretariat to notify of the suspect case. Immediately a case of FMD is confirmed, the Director General Operations and Service Delivery will again contact the MOD Home and Special Forces Secretariat to inform 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.

2.                  3.2 Contact details for MOD Home and Special Forces Secretariat can be found at Annex I.

3.                  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.

4.                  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).  HR will contact vets from the following sources to secure additional assistance:

.                      • Retired veterinary staff

.                      • Veterinary staff from Defra agencies and other government departments.

 

Identification of non-government veterinary personnel

3.6 Pending new permanent arrangements private veterinary Surgeons in GB and abroad will be engaged as casual veterinary staff.  Those who are already local veterinary inspectors (LVIs) will undertake work in that capacity.

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 Service Delivery Division.  Training will be provided at Local DCCs.

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

1.                  3.8 Members of the Senior Civil Service have been 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 have been allocated to one of the three SVS regions in England.  SVS Contingency Planning Division maintains a list of RODs.

2.                  3.9 When Amber 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. A 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.  Heads of Veterinary Service will debrief and provide a handover to RODs (and DOMs) upon their arrival.

 

1.                  3.10 Grade 6s (or Grade 7s on temporary promotion) have been 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 have been allocated to one of the three SVS regions in England.  Upon confirmation of a case, a DOM for the relevant region will be called upon by SVS CPD to take up post as soon as possible. SVS CPD will maintain a list of DOMs. Similar arrangements are being set up in Scotland and Wales.

2.                  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

1.                  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.

2.                  3.13 The Director SVS, through HR Resource Centre, Worcester, 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.                  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.

4.                  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

1.                  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.

2.                  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.                  3.18 HR Resource Centre, Worcester 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 HR Resource Centre at Worcester, for HR issues both in London and the Regions.

4.                  3.19 The HR Resource Centre at Worcester 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.

1.                  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.

2.                  3.21 Having first sought clearance from the Director General Operations and Service Delivery [or Director SVS], RODs may contact Regional Directors of  Jobcentre Plus (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 I - Contact List for details).

3.                  3.22 Additional technical staff from the following sources will also be considered:

 

.                      • Retired SVS technical staff

.                      • Veterinary students

.                      • Agricultural students

 

DEFRA LEGAL SERVICES

1.                  3.23 Legal Services Directorate General must be instructed at the start of an outbreak. It is important to have an established system for ensuring the efficient preparation of Declaratory Orders and for the handling of claims for matters such as compensation for slaughtered animals and unintentional damage to premises.

2.                  3.24 A Legal Liaison Unit will be immediately established in the NDCC to coordinate 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.                  3.25 LSDG hold all templates for Orders and must be approached immediately a Declaratory Order is required.  Declaratory Orders are required immediately on confirmation of disease and are the means by which restrictions applying in defined areas (for example, a protection zone) are imposed.

 

VACCINATION TEAMS

Vets and team members responsible for vaccination

3.26 Upon confirmation of disease, the 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 structures and organisation, numbers of vets and team members within the agreed time.

Lay Vaccinators

3.27 To ensure that emergency vaccination can 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

1.                  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.

2.                  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 and Local Authority Animal Health Inspectors, 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 by 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.                  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) 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

1.                  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.

2.                  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.                  3.36 The vaccination contractor 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. Operational partners and stakeholders will be involved in these exercises.  It is intended that all operational partners and stakeholders should be aware of Defra’s emergency procedures and be fully involved in their on-going development.

HEALTH AND SAFETY AND STAFF WELFARE

1.                  3.39 The Defra Departmental Health and Safety Unit (DHSU) and SVS 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.

2.                  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.                  3.41 The Welfare Service will allocate a Welfare Officer (WO) to deliver the welfare service to each LDCC and HQ offices.  The Chief Welfare Officer will keep in close contact with the NDCC to provide strategic welfare advice and guidance to the Deputy Director of the NDCC.  The Counselling Support Service will be made available 24 hours daily (including weekends).  All staff must be made aware of Defra’s Welfare Service which can provide support and guidance in individual cases of stress or hardship.  RODs must ensure that Managers are aware of the potential for stress and must take

 

appropriate action, including referral to counselling and professional support.

1.                  3.42 A strategic health and safety plan in support of these arrangements has been produced by Defra and is detailed in Annex N of this document.  All relevant personnel must follow these arrangements. A strategic Welfare Service Plan is attached at Annex O.

2.                  3.43 As part of the management of the vaccination operation the 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. The contractor 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

1.                  3.44 DVMs will identify and regularly review the availability of potential LDCC sites in liaison with ESS Division. ESSD 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.

2.                  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:

 

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

.                                appropriate security systems (day and night);

.                      • parking;
• office accommodation for management and administrative staff;

.                                appropriate IT and telecoms facilities;

.                                secure refrigerated storage facilities for vaccine;

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

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

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

.                                suitable area for vaccination team dispatch.

 

1.                  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.

2.                  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, ESSD could relocate the NDCC to the 7th and 8th floors as they have the requisite infrastructure in place. ESSD 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 office space, desks, telephones 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)

1.                  3.49 The FMD Disease Control System (DCS) is the key Management Information System to be used in the event of an outbreak.  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 Learning and Development Unit as appropriate.

2.                  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.                  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.

4.                  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 with the intention that it will be delivered in 2005.

5.                  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 and it is expected that elements of it will also be used during peacetime to enable system familiarity to be retained.

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

Financial System

1.                  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 is now, Spring 2004, being put in place and in the event of an outbreak could be brought into use with the new system being developed thereafter.

2.                  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

1.                  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 on-line for internal use.

2.                  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.                  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.

4.                  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.

5.                  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.  

6.                  3.62 Within 72 hours of confirmation PCD will provide a PERT team in an LDCC to manage the procurement and commercial activities for that office.  The PERT team is likely to include a Commercial/Procurement Manager, Contracts Manager, Purchasing Manager, Quantity/Claims Surveyor and Field Manager. The exact compilation and size of the PERT team will be governed by the extent of the outbreak and the requirement to ensure that contracted services are provided, monitored and properly accounted.  If requested by the LDCC, Field Store Managers will be provided by PCD to enable the release of the existing store manager for other duties.  Forensic accountants and surveyors will be engaged prior to receipt and approval of supplier/contractor invoices and will be responsible for the certification, verification and evaluation of these invoices.

7.                  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 Contingency Agreements and Supply Contingency Arrangements

1.                  3.64 PCD and AHDOs will put in place national/regional/local contingency agreements 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.

2.                  3.65 These agreements and arrangements will be comprehensive in coverage of all the relevant supply chains and include slaughter and disposal, shepherds and gatherers and ancillary equipment; carcase 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 agreements and contingency supply arrangements is available on-line for internal use.

3.                  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 agreements 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.

4.                  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.

5.                  3.68 Details of agreements made 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

1.                  3.69 NDCC Head of FMD Finance will ensure close communication between FMD Finance, Defra’s Finance Director and Finance, Planning and Resources Directorate (FPRD) and, if a claim for Reserve funding has proved unavoidable, HM Treasury. There will be regular meetings of all appropriate members of FMD Finance, FPRD 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.

2.                  3.70 On confirmation of an outbreak, Head of FMD Finance will submit a request for funding to HM Treasury via FPRD and the Finance Director.  Both the Finance Director and, if a claim for Reserve funding has proved unavoidable, HM Treasury will be provided with a financial report on actual expenditure incurred on a regular basis.

3.                  3.71 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.

3.72 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.

Arrangements for Financial Control in NDCC

3.73 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 contingency regional Finance Manager to each LDCC.  They will also be responsible for issuing guidance, in accordance with departmental policy, on accounting policies, financial databases, audit trails, desk instructions and checklists on financial controls including:

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

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

.                                Policy on the retention of records;

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

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

.                                Budgeting, estimates and the monitoring of expenditure;

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

.                                Liaison with the Procurement Team;

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

.                                Provision of regular financial information.

 

Arrangements for Financial Control in LDCCs

1.                  3.74 Contingency regional Finance Managers have been appointed.  Finance Managers, like RODs and DOMs, are appointed for a period of 3 years, ready to take up post as soon as possible in an outbreak.  They are allocated on a regional basis, currently the Government Offices. 

2.                  3.75 Contingency Regional Finance Managers will be 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), in accordance with departmental policy, on accounting policies, financial databases, audit trails, desk instructions and checklists on financial controls including:

 

.                                Authorising certified contractor invoices for payment;

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

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

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

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

 

3.76 Within the LDCC, Contingency Regional Finance Managers will report to the ROD.

EQUIPMENT AND STORES

National minimum stocking levels

3.77 No formal contingency stocks are kept at a national level.  An exercise to put in place a robust system of ‘re-supply at short notice’ for field stores and equipment, in times of emergencies, is currently underway.

Divisional minimum stocking levels

1.                  3.78 Guidelines on divisional stocking levels may be found in Chapter 3.

2.                  3.79 At the local level, 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

3.80 Stores of equipment to supply vaccination teams and vaccination centres are currently 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 the contractor 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.

1.                  3.81 Call off contracts for mobile cattle/sheep/pig handling facilities are currently being put in place.

2.                  3.82 Upon the establishment of vaccination centre(s) Defra will arrange for sufficient equipment to be dispatched to the vaccination centre for use.

 

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 that 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 Since 2001, ADAS has been retained to provide operational support for emergency FMD vaccination (vets and vaccination teams working under State Veterinary Service direction).  Defra is now letting a formal contract to cover this operation. The following arrangements therefore provide an interim framework for implementation.

Timing

1.                  4.3 The vaccination contractor is required to be operationally capable of vaccinating on day 5 of an outbreak with 25 vets and sufficient trained vaccinators and support staff for 50 teams.  Working under the overall control of the SVS, the role of these vets will be to conduct pre-vaccination farm visits, to check for any overt signs of disease, and also to be responsible for the veterinary direction of vaccination teams in the field.  As emergency vaccination is to be considered as an option from the start of any future FMD outbreak, the vaccination contractor will be placed on standby by the Head of SVS CPD as soon as disease is confirmed. The particular strain of the FMD virus would need to be identified and the vaccine would need to be formulated before vaccination could begin.

2.                  4.4 Veterinary advice to Ministers will be based on epidemiological evidence and it is unlikely to be immediately available.  It is probable that gathering epidemiological data, veterinary assessment of this epidemiological data, the use of the Decision Tree and the development of advice on the strategic deployment of vaccination make it unlikely that vaccination could begin until more than five days after the first confirmed case.

 

Operational Process

4.5 This is set out in full at Annex E.

ANIMAL WELFARE

1.                  4.6 The needs of animals and their welfare will be given early consideration in the event of a disease outbreak or emergency.

2.                  4.7 Consideration will be given to setting up, at the 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 forum should also include those responsible for welfare activities ie British Veterinary Association, NFU.  This forum would enable points of specific welfare concern to be brought readily and quickly to Ministers’ attention and enable Ministers to explain the implications for welfare of their disease control policies.

3.                  4.8 Provisions for ensuring the welfare of animals on-farm, at slaughter, 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 (Chapter 31 refers). Provisions for emergency slaughter on farm in cases of 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.                  4.9 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.

 

1.                  4.10 The first and most basic level of contingency planning is for the farmers themselves to anticipate and avoid problems.  Guidance would be issued by Defra to farmers in advance of, or in the early stages of, movement restrictions being put in place. Once the restrictions start to affect the welfare of animals and problems arise which cannot be alleviated by management or husbandry practices, farmers will be given the opportunity to move their animals off their holdings, if disease control measures allow.  Such movements will be licensed and will include movement to slaughter for the food chain. If livestock is unable to be moved and the lack of feed becomes a problem Defra will assist in the establishment and running of a national fodder brokering service to facilitate access to fodder.  

2.                  4.11 Finally and as a last resort, and if all other measures fail to keep animals alive and to an acceptable welfare standard, Defra will arrange the slaughter and disposal of animals. Slaughter would take, as far as practicable, on farms rather than in abattoirs.  However, we recognise that slaughter in abattoirs might need to be arranged.  These practical details will

 

be explored in consultation with stakeholders.  Moreover, there would be no compensation paid to farmers for animals slaughtered under the scheme.  This is in line with the policy set out in the Government’s response to the FMD Inquiries (November 2002). This states that “experience has shown that payments to farmers under such schemes can provide a disincentive for them to take responsibility for looking after their animals, and may also create a false market”.

4.12 The Head of Livestock Strategy Division in consultation with the Heads of Animal Welfare Policy Division and Animal Welfare Veterinary Division is drawing up a contingency plan for such measures and will be consulting stakeholders.

CONSERVATION OF “FARM ANIMAL GENETIC RESOURCES”

4.13 Under the EU FMD Directive special measures can be applied for the conservation of “farm animal genetic resources” on premises that are identified in advance, in the event of an FMD outbreak. There are agreed definitions for such groups of animals and a registration process is currently being developed, which will be publicised on the Defra website.  Providing the highest levels of biosecurity are implemented to prevent the spread of disease, premises holding the registered breeding nucleus may then qualify for derogations from killing all susceptible animals if the premises becomes infected, and emergency vaccination.

VALUATION

1.                  4.14 A 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, Defra will notify these valuers of the outbreak and provide the latest version of Defra’s instructions for carrying out valuations.

2.                  4.15 LDCCs will 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.

3.                  4.16 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.                  4.17 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.

PROTECTION AND SURVEILLANCE ZONES

4.18 A Protection Zone will be imposed with a minimum radius of 3km around the Infected Premises and a Surveillance Zone with a minimum radius of 10km. In the Protection Zone no animal movements will be allowed except for emergency slaughter.  In both the Protection and Surveillance Zones, there will be requirements for increased levels of biosecurity on farms, cleansing and disinfection (C&D) of vehicles, people and machinery moving on/off farms. Movement of animals, animal products, feed and bedding will be prohibited, except under licence.  Products from animals in these zones will be subject to treatment to ensure destruction of the FMD virus.  

IMMEDIATE BAN ON MOVING LIVESTOCK

1.                  4.19 All livestock movements from any farm premises are prohibited once disease has been confirmed. Movements within farm premises (e.g. from field to field) may continue to take place.  This will apply nationally if the disease is FMD but will only apply within the Infected Area for other notifiable diseases.

2.                  4.20 These restrictions will continue to apply until the risk of spreading disease has been minimised. The movement of infected livestock is by far the most efficient way to spread disease.

3.                  4.21 Livestock in transit at the time disease is confirmed will be allowed to continue to its destination or to return to the premises of departure.  Stock at markets, collecting centres and assembly centres should remain there for up to 21 days, unless their owner or new owner wishes to send them to slaughter (once the abattoirs are operating) or move them back to the premises from which they were consigned there. Premises which receive/take live animals (excluding abattoirs) in these circumstances would be subject to restrictions for at least 21 days.

4.                  4.22 With time certain types of movements will be permitted subject to certain pre-conditions. The first movement is likely to be movements of livestock to slaughterhouses and the pre-condition attached will depend upon the type of restrictions the premises or area are under.  It will be some considerable time before  movements of livestock to other farms will be permitted especially if the recipient farm has resident livestock.  Likewise it will be some considerable time before movements of livestock to other livestock markets or shows will be permitted.

5.                  4.23 In a few circumstances it may be necessary to move livestock in an emergency situation e.g. stock found on a public road because a fence was damaged or gate left open; livestock on a flood plain when the river is rising;

 

emergency veterinary treatment etc.  These exceptional circumstances will be dealt with on a case by case basis taking into consideration the welfare and safe being of the livestock concerned.

BIOSECURITY GUIDANCE

1.                  4.24 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.

2.                  4.25 Biosecurity guidance to prevent the spread of animal diseases has been developed to reflect the provisions of the Animal Health Act 1981 (as amended by the Animal Health Act 2002).  This guide, for anyone who comes into contact with animals, can be found at Annex P of this Plan and on the Defra website at:

 

http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/biosecurity/farmguidance/biosecurity_guidan ce.pdf

DISPOSAL

Disposal Hierarchy

4.26 The current disposal hierarchy has changed from the guidelines originally issued by the Department of Health (published 24/04/2001) and is as follows:

1.                  1.         Commercial fixed plant incineration 

2.                  2.         Rendering

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

 

1.                  4.27 Decisions on disposal options to be used in the event of a disease outbreak will take into account assessments of risks from TSEs and the latest SEAC guidance at the time; advice from the Department of Health; and an assessment of the potential impact on the environment.

2.                  4.28 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.

3.                  4.29 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

1.                  4.30 Agreement in principle has been obtained with nine animal incinerator operators in England, Scotland and Wales, to dispose of FMD carcases.  Defra intends to review this list and will establish a preferred supplier listing which will be subject to an annual review.

2.                  4.31 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.

3.                  4.32 As soon as a decision to slaughter has been taken, or where slaughter is likely, the DVM or LDCC Disposals Manager will, in consultation with the SVS Contingency Planning Division, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) , the Regulated Incinerator Operators (RIO), Animal Handling facilities Ltd. (AHF) and the national transport logistics manager, arrange disposal of the carcases. The DVM responsible for the disposal site will be informed, as will other key stakeholders.

4.                  4.33 DVMs will liase with the relevant local authorities and EA (or SEPA) to agree access arrangements and monitoring requirements.

 

Rendering

1.                  4.34 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, in consultation with the United Kingdom Renderers Association (UKRA) and the RPA. Total weekly capacity in the order of 20,000 tonnes per week could be made available. Transport will be provided separately through regional contracts with hauliers, renderers and the knacker industry.

2.                  4.35 Local AHDOs will ensure that they are aware which rendering facilities are available to them in the event of an animal disease outbreak. In the event of rendering capacity being required, the DVM or LDCC Disposals Manager will, in consultation with the SVS Contingency Planning Division, the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) and the national transport logistics manager, arrange disposal of the carcases. The DVM responsible for the disposal site will be informed as will the EA (or SEPA) and other key stakeholders.

3.                  4.36 DVMs will liase with the relevant local authorities and EA (or SEPA) to agree access arrangements and monitoring requirements.

 

Licensed Commercial Landfill sites

1.                  4.37 If incineration and rendering capacity has been exhausted, it may be necessary to consider the use of licensed landfill.

2.                  4.38 The implementation of the Landfill Directive is likely to impact on the use of licensed landfill from July 2004 and may limit the number of suitable landfill sites for carcase disposal. The EU Animal By-Products regulation, already implemented, has also had an impact on the use of licensed landfill.  Defra is currently drafting, in consultation with the EA, SEPA, ESA and devolved administrations, structured agreements and national operational protocols for the use of licensed landfill sites.  The Secretary of State and Welsh and Scottish Ministers may seek powers of direction for the use of commercial landfill sites in the event of an emergency.

3.                  4.39 DVMs will ensure they are aware which licensed landfill facilities are available to them during an animal disease outbreak and liase with EA (or SEPA) and local authorities to discuss access arrangements and monitoring requirements.

 

On-Farm Burial

4.40 If incineration and rendering capacity has been exhausted and licensed landfill capacity is limited, it may be necessary to consider on-farm burial.  In this event Defra will consult with EA (or SEPA) to ensure that no burial is undertaken until an appropriate risk assessment has been completed and prior written authorisation from the EA (or SEPA) has been obtained.  All burials would be undertaken in accordance with the relevant EU and national regulations so as to minimise the risk of environmental and public health impact.

Pyre Burning

4.41 Pyre burning would not normally be considered until the use of Air Curtain Burners had also been considered and then only in exceptional circumstances. If it is decided that pyre burning has to be utilised on a limited basis, 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) and ensure that any burning is undertaken in accordance with the relevant EU and national regulations so as to minimise the risk of environmental and public health impact.  Advice on air quality issues would be obtained from the local authority in the case of pyres and the EA (or SEPA) in the case of Air Curtain Burners.

Transport

4.42 A series of centrally negotiated transport call-off agreements are in place with a number of specialist local, regional and national haulage companies. PERT advisers, in consultation with the HQ disposal team, the local DVM and LDCC disposal manager will identify and procure appropriate transport for carcase disposal. The duty officer will initially deal with requests for transport. On confirmation of an outbreak, a national transport logistics manager will be appointed, supported by a regional transport manager(s).  The transport logistics manager(s) will take over responsibility for all transport logistics and tasking from the local DVM, although transport will continue to be procured locally.

SEROLOGY

Serology capacity - Surveillance

1.                  4.43 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.

2.                  4.44 IAH Pirbright offers an immediate serology capacity of up to 8,000 samples per week. 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.

3.                  4.45 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.                  4.46 Personnel required to undertake blood sampling will be recruited and trained under the co-ordination of Human Resources Services Division.  Personnel could be drawn from veterinary/agricultural students and from local Job Centres.

5.                  4.47 In a vaccination zone surveillance will be carried out,  after a minimum of 30 days have elapsed since vaccination was completed, to establish whether any vaccinated herd or flock has become infected with virus.

 

Transport of samples

4.48 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

4.49 The Department recognises that any future outbreak may result in significant social, economic and personal emotional impact, affecting farmers, other rural business-people and residents, and Defra staff and contractors.  These issues will be addressed through consultation with the Rural Stress Action Plan (RSAP) Working Group (see para. 4.51), and the Group will be represented on Defra’s FMD Contingency Planning Stakeholder Group.  Steps will be taken to ensure that:

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

.                                Provision is made for appropriate feedback and consultation during an outbreak to address issues that arise, including arrangements for information to be communicated on a daily basis by an appropriate Defra official (Head of Rural Communities Division) to a representative of the RSAP WG;

.                                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.

 

1.                  4.50 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.

2.                  4.51 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), Institute for Rural Health (IRH) and Department of Health (DoH).

3.                  4.52 Organisations represented on the Working Group, with others, also form partnerships at the regional and local level to address the needs of the rural community including supporting those in distress.  County - based 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. Initial contact with these local partnerships should

 

be made via the RSAP Working Group, but once contact has been established, local Defra staff should be encouraged to deal with them direct.   

4.53 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.

http://www.farminghelp.org.uk/

4.54 Farmers and others in the rural community are increasingly aware of the support network, and those Defra staff likely to deal directly with farmers have access to guidance on how to respond to cases of stress they encounter, including advice on how to make referrals to specialist agencies.  This is set out in RDS’s Rural Support Operational Guidance (link at http://omega/operations/ruralsupport/default.htm) , part of which is designed to increase awareness of the role of national and local rural support networks.

CLEANSING AND DISINFECTION OF AFFECTED PREMISES

1.                  4.55 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.  Preliminary cleansing and disinfection will remain the responsibility of Defra, and will be charged to Defra. When carrying out cleansing and disinfection, disinfectants used must be approved by Defra for this purpose and must be used according to manufacturer’s instructions.

2.                  4.56 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

4.57 Rodent Control will be carried out on infected premises, on behalf of Defra, until the disease risk from rodents has been minimised (e.g. carcases and potentially infected feed have been removed during preliminary 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.

MANAGEMENT INFORMATION AND DISEASE CONTROL INFORMATION

1.                  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.

2.                  5.2 RODs are required to submit daily situation reports (Sitreps) to the NDCC Operations cell. NDCC Operations will then circulate the reports to colleagues as appropriate in order that they may be drawn upon to inform the daily NDCC Report. These are required by 1800 hours. The sitrep format can be found at Annex M. 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.

3.                  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.

4.                  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 J

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. A briefing, by relevant veterinary experts, specifically on emergency vaccination will be held for the media within two days of a confirmed outbreak, outlining the factual background on vaccination, how decisions would be taken on the issue and the factors involved.  This is aimed at meeting the inevitable high profile the issue would have. Key stakeholders will receive the same briefing and will be requested to cascade this information within their own groups. 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

1.                  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 Animal Health and Welfare Planning Division working in co-operation with the Head of News Media in Communications Directorate.

2.                  5.8 The site will include:

 

.                                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.

.                                Full details of Infected Areas and Surveillance Zones including interactive maps.

.                                Full details of disease control measures and restrictions.

.                                Updated information on emergency vaccination.

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

.                                Advice on rural activities.

.                                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. 

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 the News Coordination Centre (NCC), to co-ordinate communications 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. Defra will immediately establish a multi disciplinary communications team as part of the NDCC, this will work closely with the NCC if established.

5.11 The CCS, in conjunction with OD Sec will provide accommodation  capable of housing a 24/7 operation in support of the CCC.  Units may include a situation cell and a coordination cell (subject to OD Sec/CCS confirmation) and may include representatives from Defra and other Departments as necessary. 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.

RESPONDING TO REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION

Environmental Information Regulations, Freedom of Information Act and Data Protection Act

1.                  5.13 All staff must visit the following intranet site before responding to requests for information: http://intranet/imd/access2info/data.asp . (This site includes a checklist designed to help Defra staff decide how to respond if they are asked for information that has not previously been made public).

2.                  5.14 Legislation such as the Environmental Information Regulations and the Freedom of Information Act places extensive and increasing obligations on public authorities to be open in responding to requests for information. Over and above this, accessibility is one of Defra’s core values and it is committed to establishing its reputation as an open Department which shares information with its stakeholders.

3.                  5.15 The Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) apply to the majority of information that Defra holds including any information that relates to air,

 

water, land, natural sites, flora and fauna, the built environment and health. It also covers all information relating to decisions or activities affecting, or likely to affect, any of these. Requests for non-environmental information currently fall under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information and, from January 2005, will fall under the Freedom of Information Act.  Similar principles apply when considering requests for information under the various regimes. Remember that a request for information does not need to mention any legislation or the Code, in order for the relevant requirements to apply.

1.                  5.16 The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out rules for processing personal information held on paper records and computers. Some provisions of the Act came into force on 1 March 2000 and most of the other provisions came into force on 24 October 2001. A few provisions remain to come into force on 24 October 2007.

2.                  5.17 Data Protection Officers are appointed to oversee data protection matters within Departments. Contact details for Defra's Data Protection Officer may be found at: http://intranet/imd/access2info/data.asp

3.                  5.18 Defra's general policy statement on the release of personal data relating to a Foot and Mouth outbreak may be found at Annex K.

 

Mobile Assurance Team

5.19 A small team of senior civil servants will be established in the early stages of an outbreak. Their remit will be to quality assure local structures and processes, and the capture of critical management information in Local Disease Control Centres.

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE

1.                  6.1 Defra is lead Government 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.

2.                  6.2 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.

3.                  6.3 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 consider the need to establish the Civil Contingencies Committee.  This will be triggered by the Permanent Secretary contacting the Security and  Intelligence Coordinator or the Head of Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat.

4.                  6.4 Whilst Defra will retain overall command responsibility as lead department, if required the Civil Contingencies Committee(s) [CCC and CCC(O)] will be responsible for 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.

5.                  6.5 Defra’s Science Advisory Council (SAC) exists to ratify, audit, advise and guide the development of the control strategies that are implemented by Defra and its agents. It will also need to consider whether the Science Advisory Panel for Emergency Response (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.                  6.6 Operational Partner and 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 (as appropriate) will be tabled at CCC(O) by Defra representatives.

1.                  6.7 Tactical issues will be addressed at the daily Emergency Direction Group and by the National Disease Control Centre.

2.                  6.8 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 rapidly establish 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)

                                  Gives clear strategic instructions and direction to the tactical level, in particular clarifying the key priorities for action,  (Emergency Direction Group, daily communications meetings and National Disease Control Centre).

                        NB: It is expected in the early days of an outbreak that the control strategies laid out in this plan will be adhered to and therefore minimal strategic direction will be required at this stage.  However, strategists will be required to consider the impact of control policies in the face of the emerging disease picture and to suggest policy modifications as necessary.

.                                Provides initial strategy for direction of communications, within Defra and in liaison with GICS across wider Government and externally to the public.

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

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

.                                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.

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

.                                The Permanent Secretary 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.

 

Battle Rhythm – Strategic Level Key Strategic Structures and Roles:

Time

Event

Location

Attendees

0800 – 0830

Daily Communications Meeting

Conference Room LG20 Page Street

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

 

 

 

[PUS]

0930 –

Civil Contingencies

COBR

Chair: Cabinet Office

1030

Committee (Officials)

 

 

 

CCC(O)

 

 

1030 –

Civil Contingencies

COBR

Chair: Defra Minister

1130

Committee (CCC)

 

 

1130 - 1200

Media Briefing

Nobel House

Defra Minister, CVO,

 

 

 

Defra CSA,

1515 –

Defra Management

Room 806, Nobel

Perm Sec, MB

1600 (as

Board

House

members,

necessary)

 

 

 

 

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 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 Secretariat

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

Other Defra Directors (as invited)

Members

 

Information

Birdtables, NDCC daily report, Animal Disease Policy Group,

received

Science Advisory Council, Rural Issues Group, Civil

from

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

 

Council)

 

- 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.                  1.         Disease and Epidemiology - current situation.

2.                  2.         Action taken and its implications.

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

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

5.                  5.         Parliamentary/Devolved Administration Issues.

6.                  6.         EU/International Issues.

7.                  7.         Media/Communications Issues.

8.                  8.         AOB.

9.                  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) must be present]

Issue: Outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease confirmed at:-

Facts: -

 Disease signs:
(
use layman’s terms)

Samples taken to lab on (time and day):

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

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

Address:

Animal Health Divisional Office Dealing:
Name of DVM (or their nominee):
Name of SVS Region Head of Veterinary Services:

Summary of the Disease Outbreak (including IPs and DCs, number of animals
affected, animals slaughtered and awaiting slaughter):

Epidemiological Report:

Progress on Implementation of the Contingency Plan, issues identified and resources required.

General Summary

Specific issues: Vaccination Communications and Media Human Resources – vets, technicians and admin Armed Forces Finance Procurement Disposal Devolved Administrations Engagement with Operational Partners Surveillance

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 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

N/A

Core

Director Communications, Director SVS, [Permanent

Membership

Secretary], Minister(s), Chief Veterinary Officer, DG

 

Operations & Service Delivery (chair), Number 10,

Other

Other Defra DGs / Directors (as necessary and invited through

Members

Chair)

Information

NDCC Birdtables, NDCC daily report, Emergency Direction

received

Group, Stakeholder meetings

from

 

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 08.30 No10 News briefing and 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

09.30 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 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: 09.30-10.30 (subject to OD Sec confirmation)

Directs

- Other Government Departments - Defra daily Emergency Direction Group - Defra NDCC

Core

Chair: Cabinet Office; Secretariat: CCS

Membership

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

N/A

Members

 

Information

CCS Situation Report (drawing on NDCC Daily Report and other

received from 

sources) and NCC Comms report.

Tools

N/A

Objectives

- Consider and reach agreement on issues that need to be highlighted to CCC for collective decision. 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 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

10.30 as necessary in COBR 

Activation criteria

As soon as possible after initial confirmation of disease the Chief Veterinary Officer (or 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: 10.30 - 11.30 (subject to OD Sec confirmation)

Directs

- Other Government Departments - Defra daily Emergency Direction Group - National Disease Control Centre

 

- News Coordination Centre

Core

Chair: Defra Minister; Secretariat: CCS

Membership

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

N/A

Members

 

Information

CCS Situation Report (drawing on NDCC Daily Report and other

received from 

sources) and NCC Comms 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 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 10.30AM/09.30AM

AGENDA

1.                  1.         Actions arising from last meeting

2.                  2.         Situation Report

3.                  3.         Likely development of the outbreak

4.                  4.         Government’s management of response: issues for decision (including resourcing issues)

5.                  5.         Wider impacts: issues for decision

6.                  6.         Public information and media handling

7.                  7.         Actions arising

 

Title

 

Defra Science Advisory Council

Purpose

 

To provide independent science advice to the Animal Disease Policy Group and the Civil Contingencies Committee; and to audit and advise on 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 Council 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, 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 & HPA 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, carcase 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. - Audits and advises on 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 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

 

External Membership to be confirmed

Members

 

 

Information

 

NDCC daily report, Defra Science Advisory Council, Defra

received

 

Rural Issues Group, Defra Emergency Management Board,

from

 

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 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

Director General Land Use & Rural Affairs, Director Rural

Membership

Policy, Director Land Management & Rural Development, Countryside Agency, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Regional Co-ordination Unit)

Other

DCMS, DTI, DWP (Jobcentre Plus), Stakeholder

Members

representatives.

Information

NDCC daily report, Defra Science Advisory Council, Defra

received

Rural Issues Group, Defra Emergency Management Board,

from

Civil Contingencies Committee,

Tools

N/A

Objectives

- Advises the Civil Contingencies Committee on the affect of policies on rural communities and industries, including carcase 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], Rural Stress Action Plan Working Group.  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

 

Defra Roles at Strategic Level

NB It is vitally important that the people identified below appoint Deputies as soon as possible after confirmation of disease.

Permanent Secretary - Defra Strategic Commander

.                                Ultimate responsibility for all strategic decisions taken within Defra.

.                                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).

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

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

.                                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.

.                                Horizon scan for wider governmental issues.

.                                Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

.                                Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.30 - as necessary, Chair: Cabinet Office; Secretariat: CCS).

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

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

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

 

DG Operations & Service Delivery

.                                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.

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

.                                Establish strategic delivery priorities.

.                                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 I).

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

.                                Strategic Liaison with Government Offices in the Regions.

.                                Horizon scan for strategic issues.

.                                Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

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

.                                Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.30, Chair: Cabinet Office; Secretariat: CCS).

.                                Chair daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.45), ensuring the meeting focuses on Tactical outcomes.

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

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Chief Veterinary Officer

.                                Responsible for confirmation of disease in first case.

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

.                                Establish and Chair Animal Disease Policy Group (N.B. this is separate from Science Advisory Council) to devise/refine disease control policies, horizon scan and inform development of strategies at Civil Contingencies Committee (09.30).

.                                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.

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

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

.                                Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.30).

.                                Brief media (11.30).

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

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

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Defra Chief Scientist

.                                Establish and Chair Science Advisory Council to audit and advise on the development of strategies at Civil Contingencies Committee (N.B. this is separate from Animal Disease Policy Group).

.                                Horizon scan for strategic issues.

.                                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.

.                                Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

.                                Attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.30).

.                                Brief media (11.30).

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

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

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Director Legal Service A/DG Legal Services

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

.                                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.

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

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

.                                Horizon scan for strategic issues.

.                                Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

.                                Attend daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.45).

.                                [DG Legal Services to attend Civil Contingencies Committee (O) (09.30) if necessary].

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

 

DG Land Use and Rural Affairs

.                                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.

.                                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.

.                                Horizon scan for strategic issues.

.                                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.

.                                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.

.                                Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

.                                Attend Civil Contingencies Committee when required (09.30).

.                                Attend regular stakeholder meeting.

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

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Other DGs

.                                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.

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

.                                Appoint deputies.

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

 

Director SVS -Tactical Commander Director of Disease Operations.

                                  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

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

.                                Attend NDCC Birdtables (especially 07.30 for briefing).

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

.                                Attend and brief daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.45).

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

.                                When necessary, attend and brief Civil Contingencies Committee (09.30).

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

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

.                                Horizon scan for tactical issues.

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

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

 

Director Vet Policy

.                                Notify members of the Animal Disease Policy Group,

.                                Attend Animal Disease Policy Group.

.                                European Union SCOFCAH and OIE liaison.

.                                Liaison with industry and other stakeholders over policy development.

.                                Deputise for CVO at Defra Emergency Direction Group, and if necessary at Civil Contingencies Committee (09.30) and Animal Disease Policy Group.

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

.                                Horizon scan for tactical issues.

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

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Director Animal Health & Welfare

.                                Liaison with industry and other stakeholders over policy development.

.                                European Commission liaison.

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

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

.                                Horizon scan for tactical issues.

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

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Director Communications

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

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

.                                Engage GICS (and GNN).

.                                Horizon scan for tactical issues.

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

.                                Establish appropriate media briefing at national and local levels.

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

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

.                                Attend Civil Contingencies Committee(O) (09.30-10.30).

.                                Attend and brief Emergency Direction Group (10.45) or send deputy.

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

.                                Attend and brief Defra Emergency Management Board (15.15 as necessary).

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

.                                Review communications protocols on a regular basis.

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Finance Director

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

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

.                                Liaise with HM Treasury and National Audit Office.

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

.                                Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

.                                Attend and brief daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.45) or send deputy.

.                                Attend and brief Defra Emergency Management Board (15.15 as necessary).

.                                Horizon scan for strategic and tactical issues.

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

Other Directors (as necessary)

.                                Attend morning NDCC Birdtable (07.30).

.                                Attend and brief daily Defra Emergency Direction Group (10.45) if necessary.

.                                Brief Directors General for the Civil Contingencies Committee (09.30) [and Emergency Management Board] if necessary.

.                                Appoint deputies.

 

CSA/SAC role

The contingency role of the Science Advisory Council will be to:

.                                Advise on emerging threats, including those raised by horizon scanning;

.                                Assist the CSA in evaluating the scientific content of contingency plans for handling national emergencies in areas of Defra’s responsibility;

.                                Act as an important source of advice and a conduit to specialists in the science community during an emergency. As required the CSA would convene a sub-group of the SAC, with independent experts co-opted as appropriate, to advise on the handling of the emergency;

.                                Provide independent review of the science that underpins Defra’s response in the event of an emergency.

 

FMD Expert Group

6.9 The EU FMD control Directive (Council Directive 2003/85/EC) requires the establishment of a permanently operational expert group comprised of epidemiologists, veterinary scientists and virologists, to maintain an expertise in order to assist the competent authority in ensuring preparedness against an outbreak of FMD. The Directive also sets down the functions this group would be expected to fulfil if an outbreak occurred.

1.                  6.10 In ‘peacetime’ the FMD Expert Group will consist of core Defra vets who specialise in disease control, core Defra administrative staff and disease consultants based at the National Reference Laboratory at IAH Pirbright.

2.                  6.11 In the event of an outbreak, the FMD Expert Group will be convened on a regular basis and will be enhanced to comprise:-

 

Chair: Defra CVO/DCVO

FMD advice/consultation  IAH Pirbright

on clinical disease recognition

FMD virologist/diagnosis IAH Pirbright

FMD pathogenesis/pathology  IAH Pirbright

FMD Vaccination                              IAH Pirbright

FMD Epidemiology                          Defra’s Consultant Epidemiologist

Meteorologist                                    Met Office/IAH Pirbright

Serology                                             VLA

Observer/link to Science Head of Veterinary Research Advisory Council, Division, Defra

Epidemiologists                                SVS (HQ) Vets and other staff responsible for field epidemiology.

6.12 The expert group will be a strategic/tactical level group of specialists whose role will be to provide advice to senior management on surveillance programmes, analyse information and advise on control strategies. They will report to the CVO and the NDCC.

Epidemiology

6.13 A group of people will be established who have skills and technical knowledge of clinical science and epidemiology of FMD and the methods of prevention and eradication of an outbreak of the disease. In the event of an outbreak this group will become the national expert epidemiology group providing advice and information to the Centre and to the policy group.

The group will consist of:

ChairFMD advice/consultation  

 on clinical disease recognition FMD virologist/diagnosis FMD pathogenesis/pathology FMD Vaccination FMD Epidemiology

Meteorologist SerologyObserver/link to Science Advisory Group      Defra DCVO IAH Pirbright

IAH Pirbright IAH Pirbright IAH Pirbright Head of Nat Emergencies Epidemiology Group Met Office/IAH Pirbright     Veterinary Laboratories Agency Head of Defra Veterinary Research      Division

National Emergencies Epidemiology Group

6.14 This group will comprise of 5 teams with expertise drawn from the AHWDG, SVS, VLA, IAH and Met office as appropriate. The teams will be responsible for:

.                                Descriptive epidemiology

.                                Analytical epidemiology to include data analysis, data release, GIS and involvement with surveillance strategy for disease and disease freedom

.                                Modelling to including interspread, development of models and liaison with other modelling groups

.                                Providing epidemiological information from the field (National Field Epidemiology Team)

.                                Risk assessment to update the existing risk assessments from the 2001 outbreak.

 

BACKGROUND AND SCOPE

1.                  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. 

2.                  7.2 The Tactical Level centres around the National Disease Control Centre (NDCC) (See Annex L), 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

1.                  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.

2.                  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.

3.                  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).

4.                  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) authorises 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.  

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.

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).

DEFRA’s FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE CONTINGENCY PLAN

81

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. 

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. 

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 aims 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.

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.

1.                  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).

2.                  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 within the NDCC and policy representatives from Animal Health and Welfare and Livestock Strategy.

Daily Emergency Direction Group, at 10.45 – 11.15 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.

Battle Rhythm - Tactical (NDCC) Level BACKGROUND AND SCOPE

Time

Event

Location

Attendees

0730 –

NDCC Birdtable

NDCC Page

Key Strategic and

0800

Meeting

Street

Tactical personnel

1045 – 1115

Emergency Direction Group (Tactical Command)

Conference Room LG20 Page Street

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

1200 –

NDCC Birdtable

NDCC Page

All key Tactical

1230

Meeting

Street

personnel

1430 – 1500

Regional Operations Directors’

Page Street

Dir FMD Ops, RODs

 

Teleconference

 

 

 

 

 

 

1615 –

2nd Emergency

Conference

DG OSD (Chair), Dirs:

1715 (as

Direction Group

Room LG20

FMD Ops, Comms,

necessary)

(EDG)

Page Street

Finance, Legal (A),

 

 

 

Rural Affairs,

1800

ROD Sitreps due

NDCC

 

1900 -

NDCC Birdtable

NDCC Page

All key Tactical

1930

 

Street

personnel

2100

NDCC Report

NDCC

NDCC Management

(approx)

compiled & circulated

 

Information Cell

 

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

10.45 – 11.15 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 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: 10.45 [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

Other Defra Directors (as necessary invited through Chair)

Members

 

Information

Civil Contingencies Committees, Birdtable meetings, NDCC

received

daily report, Stakeholder meetings

from

 

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

 

1.                   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.

2.                   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

.                                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;

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

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

.                                To minimise the effect of the necessary disease control measures on the community without diminishing the effectiveness of the disease control measures.

 

1.                   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.

2.                   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.

3.                   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).

4.                   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 PROCESS

1.                   8.7 SVS Instructions cover the implementation of control measures and guidance on the establishment of a LDCC.

2.                   8.8 Once FMD is confirmed, the Director of the SVS will authorise the establishment of an LDCC and confirm this with the DVM and HVS.

3.                   8.9 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.

 

8.10 The DVM/HVS will contact those people who will be appointed as Heads of LDCC Teams.  The LDCC will develop to provide for the implementation of the necessary control measures.

INVOLVEMENT OF STAKEHOLDERS AND OPERATIONAL PARTNERS

1.                   8.11 DVMs will engage with local operational partners and 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 coordination 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.

2.                   8.12 An outline of local stakeholder capabilities is at Annex Q.

3.                   8.13 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.

 

Battle Rhythm - Operational (LDCC) Level  ANNEX A

Time

Event

Location

Attendees

0730 –

LDCC Birdtable

LDCC

Heads of Ops Teams

0800

Meeting

 

 

0800 –

Daily Management &

Conference

ROD, DVM, DOM

0830

Communications

Room LG20

 

 

Meeting

Page Street

 

1130 -

Media Briefing

Nobel House

Defra Minister, CVO,

1200

 

 

Defra CSA,

1200 –

LDCC Birdtable

LDCC

Heads of Ops Teams

1230

Meeting

 

 

1430 –

Regional Operations

Page Street

Dir FMD Ops, RODs

1500

Directors’

 

 

 

Teleconference

 

 

1800

ROD Sitreps due

Sent to NDCC

 

1900 -

LDCC Birdtable

LDCC

Heads of Ops Teams

1930

 

 

 

 

GENERAL LEGISLATION

Animal Health Act 1981

.                                The Animal Health Act 1981 provides the powers for the control of Foot and Mouth Disease.

�.      The FMD Order 1983 (together with amendments), made under the Animal Health Act 1981 provides for the following measures:

.                                entry to premises for the purpose of veterinary inquiry;

.                                slaughter of affected, suspected or exposed animals;

.                                seizure and control of affected carcases and things;

.                                cleansing and disinfection of premises, vehicles and people;

.                                movement controls on people, animals and vehicles;

.                                slaughter (and payment of compensation) of animals on welfare grounds

 

arising as a result of movement controls;
• other controls in Infected, Restricted and Controlled areas.

Animal Health Act 2002

.                                The Animal Health Act 2002 amended the Animal Health Act 1981 and supplemented the existing powers under the Animal Health Act 1981 by allowing animals to be slaughtered wherever this is necessary to prevent the spread of disease.

.                                However, the 2002 Act amendments required the Secretary of State to publish the reasons for using this preventive slaughter power, prior to exercising it. Emergency vaccination would have to be considered prior to any preventive slaughter powers, and, if not used, the reasons would have to be published. 

.                                The 2002 Act amendments allow vaccinated animals to be slaughtered and requires compensation of market value for such animals to be paid.  The Act now provides for the publication and annual review of this Contingency Plan and also requires the publication of Biosecurity guidance. It strengthens enforcement powers, including improved powers of entry to farms; requires reasonable assistance for the purposes of slaughter, vaccination and testing; and increases penalties.