Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Emergency FMD Vaccination Project Board

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Control Policy Communications Strategy

Prepared by Communications Directorate/ AMED Policy Team

1/4/04

Index

1. Purpose Page 3
2. Background Page 3
3. Strategy: Planning communications in advance of a future FMD outbreak Communications during a future outbreak Page 4 Page 4 – 9 Page 9 - 10
4. Key messages of Communication Page 11
5. Evaluation Page 12
Annex 1 Full list of interested individuals or Organisations Page 13 –14
Annex 2 Stakeholder Segmentation Page 15 - 20
Annex 3 Media Grid and Publicity Page 21 - 23

1. Purpose

1.1 This communications strategy is aimed at planning for:

  • communications in advance of a future outbreak;
  • communications during a future outbreak, by contributing an ‘emergency vaccination’ element for inclusion in Defra’s Foot and Mouth Disease Contingency Plan. This strategy should be read alongside the “Communications” section of the Contingency Plan.

2. Background

  1. A new EU Directive on foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) was adopted on 29th September 2003. This updates current measures, taking account of scientific developments and experiences from the 2001 outbreak of disease. The Directive will be transposed into domestic legislation during 2004.
  2. Under the new Directive, the slaughter of susceptible animals on infected premises and those identified as “dangerous contacts” remains the principal tool for tackling an FMD outbreak. The Directive rejects a return to prophylactic (routine) vaccination - which has been banned across the EU since 1992 - but places greater emphasis on emergency vaccination, which has now moved to the forefront of disease control strategies, as an adjunct to the basic slaughter policy.
  3. The Directive requires Member States to have arrangements in place for possible use of emergency vaccination as soon as FMD is confirmed. To meet this requirement, the State Veterinary Service has put arrangements in place with an external contractor to implement an emergency vaccination programme, if required. These arrangements ensure that we would be operationally capable of carrying out a vaccination programme within 5 days in the event of a future outbreak. To arrive at this state of readiness, the contractor has trained a first response team comprising sufficient lay vaccinators and support staff for 50 teams and recruited some 25 vets to support them.
  4. Where emergency vaccination-to-live is used, disease free status can be regained six months after the last case or the last vaccination (according to which occurs the latest) providing all susceptible animals on infected premises and dangerous contacts have been slaughtered and absence from infection in the remaining vaccinated population can be demonstrated. Where emergency vaccination is not used, disease free status can be regained three months after the last case, providing surveillance has confirmed the absence of infection.
  5. Since early 2003, Defra and the Devolved Administrations have been engaged in discussions with stakeholders about the implications of the disease control options in the Directive, in particular the possible use of emergency vaccination and the requirements for the treatment of meat and milk produced from vaccinated animals and from animals from the Protection and Surveillance Zones.
  1. Strategy
  2. Planning communications in advance of a future FMD outbreak

Communications Directorate has considered the various communications opportunities between now and a possible future outbreak, to prepare the ground in gaining an understanding of future disease control policy and, in particular, a possible emergency vaccination campaign.

Media

3.2 National, regional and specialist media interest will not be at the same level now that the controversy from 2001 has died down. Therefore, apart from occasional items, there is unlikely to be much scope in the general media for preparing the ground now for the possibility of an emergency vaccination campaign in the future. However, there may be some coverage of:

  • the FMD contingency exercises: these can be used as a vehicle to explain the Government’s position on vaccination to both national and specialist audiences;
  • planned regional stakeholder engagement;
  • scientific developments on vaccine technology and disease detection.

Recommendation 1: Every opportunity should be taken to explain the various elements of the Government’s plans for disease control in this coverage, particularly in the specialist farming, food and veterinary media, including the possible role for emergency vaccination in a future outbreak.

Timing: Now and on-going, including announcements connected with the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy (launch June 2004) and the FMD contingency exercises. (See Annex 3 for a grid of forthcoming opportunities for media coverage and target audiences)

3.3 In the event of an outbreak, there will be an urgent need to communicate, to the media, basic information about the principal disease control mechanism (i.e. slaughter of susceptible animals on infected premises and dangerous contacts) and about the possibility of emergency vaccination.

This will need to be done:

  • in written Q and A form;
  • in face-to-face briefings.

Recommendation 2: Written Q and A briefing, suitable for use by Ministers and press officers, should be prepared by AMED so as to be ready for distribution to media within hours of a future outbreak. This should be circulated, and commented on by key stakeholders, and form an established view of the factual position.

Timing: Q&A briefing is already available on the web-site. This was circulated to stakeholders for their views but there has been little feedback. Defra to finalise Q&A brief by end April.

Stakeholders

3.4 It is crucial that stakeholders are engaged in planning for possible use of emergency vaccination in a future outbreak; in particular that:

  • farmers are aware of the implications for trade and their representatives are willing to give re-assurance on this;
  • consumer bodies are aware of the safety of products from vaccinated animals, declare themselves willing to be supportive, and are in a position to allay potential public concern ;
  • welfare groups are willing to endorse emergency vaccination;
  • the various components of the food chain are aware of the safety of products from vaccinated animals and are confident there will be no adverse public reaction, in particular that caused by negative public statements from the above groups;
  • those in the wider rural economy are aware of what may happen in the event of a future outbreak e.g. foothpath closures etc.;
  • regional bodies e.g. LACORS, are aware of their role in enforcing legislation and in providing local and regional links to the food industry and consumers;

owners of “rare breeds” are aware of the “farm animal genetic resources” database, the qualifying criteria and what special measures may be available;

the particular concerns of zoos and research collections are addressed.

  1. All groups need to be aware now of the Government’s operational arrangements for emergency vaccination and how the decision to vaccinate would be handled so that confidence can be gained about its use by all principal stakeholder segments.
  2. Stakeholders need to be aware that, in the event of an outbreak, products from animals from Protection and Surveillance Zones will also be subject to treatment.
  3. Regional stakeholder engagement is planned to commence in June 2004. This will ensure that stakeholders understand how decisions about

emergency vaccination will be taken and how operational arrangements will work in practice.

3.8 Key stakeholders should be identified as soon as possible. Stakeholders should consider urgently which other organisations from the fuller list at Annex 1 should be involved at this stage.

Recommendation 3: Core stakeholder groups who should be involved at this stage should be agreed; these would be segmented under the headings of food safety (e.g. FSA, consumer groups), Logistics (e.g. farmers groups, BVA, LACORS, meat trade, dairy industry) and welfare (e.g. RSPCA, CIWF, NFMG). The wider rural economy group will be addressed through regional meetings.

Timing: Core stakeholder groups have been identified.

Recommendation 4: Defra will hold a series of group and individual meetings with stakeholder groups.

Timing: Initial meetings to be held by end June 2004.

3.9 These stakeholders will want to be assured that they will be included in considerations over whether emergency vaccination should be used in a future outbreak.

Recommendation 5: That the way stakeholders are involved in decision-making on emergency vaccination is made clear in advance.

Timing: On-going

3.10 It is crucial that stakeholder organisations cascade information within their specialist fields and to their members. It was found in analysis of farmer groups after the 2001 outbreak that farmers rely on ‘trusted sources’ for their opinion-forming; on some occasions this is the specialist and regional press; on others, it is their vet on whom they are used to relying for information on animal health matters. We need to ensure that the trusted source is fully armed with correct information. Therefore, for example, the BVA and BCVA will need to consider how they communicate information to their members in the event of a crisis (group e-mail, letter, text messages).

Recommendation 6: Stakeholders are invited to consider how they would cascade information now and during a crisis. Stakeholders should draw up an action plan of how they would communicate urgent information on disease control, and have been asked to report back by end April 2004. Examples of rapid communication would include group e-mail, cascade by meetings/phone calls, group text message to mobile phones, faxes.

Timing: Stakeholders to report their plans by end April 2004.

Paid Publicity

3.11 The Government is obliged to consider emergency vaccination as a disease control option at the outset of any future outbreak. There will be an urgent need to communicate clearly and effectively. One way of doing this will be by written material on possible disease control measures direct to interested parties.

Recommendation 7: Written material, laid out in leaflet form, should be prepared by AMED now so that it can be quickly updated and released in the event of a future outbreak. This should be ready for distribution within three days of an outbreak. A plan for its distribution should be drawn up. (In the last outbreak, we had several mailings of information to all farmers, therefore distribution not necessarily a problem). The content of the material and the plans for the leaflet should be reviewed annually.

Such leaflets to be made available to Government Delivery Agents for local use.

Timing: AMED to draft / CD Publicity to finalise plan by end June

Website

3.12 Defra’s website was heavily used by farmers and interested parties during the last FMD outbreak. There will be an urgent need for material to be placed on the Defra website and for other organisations to use this as a link.

Recommendation 8: Material should be made available now on the Defra website; it should be agreed what information would be added in the event of a future outbreak. This information should also be made available to Defra Helpline.

Timing: Some material is already available on the web-site. Stakeholder’s views on additional information to be added in the event of a future outbreak has been requested but, to date, little feedback has been received.

Internal Communications

3.13 It is crucial that Defra’s own staff are fully aware of the facts so that they can pass these on to those who they deal with; this is particularly important for animal health office and veterinary staff. Also LACORS, as partners in the delivery of animal health policy should be included.

Recommendation 9: Defra to decide how staff should be informed about emergency vaccination in a future outbreak; this would probably be by dissemination of briefing, by Newsflashes on the intranet and cascade meetings.

Timing: End May 2004

Context

3.14 Presentation of preparatory work on emergency vaccination must make it clear that the policy fits into a wider context of other measures aimed at both contingency planning and prevention. These include:

  • National FMD Exercises – Both the Scottish Executive and Welsh Assembly Government have carried out their own national exercises. Defra has embarked on a series of planned FMD exercises, beginning in December 2003, working towards a major GB wide exercise in June 2004.
  • Animal Health and Welfare Strategy – A draft implementation plan for England, which included the Positive Health Plan for livestock farmers, was issued in December 2003 for consultation. The full AHWS will be formally launched in June 2004, together with updated implementation plans. An annual conference, focusing on the progress of the Strategy and disease risks – both domestic and international – will take place in Autumn 2004.
  • Veterinary Surveillance Strategy – The Veterinary Surveillance Strategy was formally launched in October 2003. One of the main tools of the VSS’s disease surveillance system, RADAR, will come on stream during 2004 and, in time, will allow greater interaction between farmers, vets and Defra on tracking and monitoring diseases.
  • Illegal Imports Campaign – An extra £30 million has been allocated to this campaign to stop notifiable diseases entering the UK.
  • International Animal Health Disease Monitoring – A new website has been set up which will provide early analysis and risk assessments of the potential impact of notifiable disease outbreaks occurring in both the EU and major UK trading partners.
  • TB Strategy – The short, medium and long-term TB Strategy went out for consultation on 9 February. This strategy is likely to include pre- and potentially post- movement tests which would help stop the spread of this notifiable disease from its core heartland in the SW to areas currently not affected – East Anglia, Northeast, East Midlands.
  • Enhanced Livestock Tracing – Major ongoing developments to improve the current Cattle Tracing System, run by the British Cattle Movement Service, are taking place to help provide greater accuracy and reliability in tracing stock in the event of a disease outbreak.
  • Pig ID – New legislation on pig identification has recently come into force to provide greater accuracy in tracing stock. At the same time, hobby pig farmers have been urged to record their pet/hobby pigs with animal health offices. During both the CSF and FMD outbreaks, valuable time and money were lost in trying to trace unrecorded stock.

Recommendation 10: That presentation of the work on emergency vaccination is in context of other measures.

Timing: On-going

3.15 Communications during a future outbreak

Along with some of the elements in the previous section, the actions in this section have been added to the FMD Contingency Plan and reflect the outcome of the preparation work described above.

These include:

  • Material for Ministers and those briefing the media to be available immediately following an outbreak.
  • Face-to-face briefing for the media within 48 hours of an outbreak with content based on material in the Q&A, to be addressed by established veterinary and technical experts from within and outside Government. As well as outlining the factual background on vaccination, the briefing would outline how decisions would be taken on the issue and the factors involved.
  • Stakeholders to be met within 48 hours of an outbreak to be informed about possible emergency vaccination plans with the same briefing as for the media, so that they can make informed comment. Stakeholders to cascade this information within their specialist groups.
  • Updated information on emergency vaccination is placed on the Defra website within 24 hours of an outbreak and staff are informed of how it can be found by Newsflash.
  • That a leaflet on disease control measures, including the possible use of emergency vaccination, is distributed by post to all key stakeholders within three days of an outbreak.

Recommendation 11: The FMD Contingency Plan is amended to include communications about the various aspects of emergency vaccination. This should be informed by the FMD exercises.

Timing: Amendments made to the latest version of the Contingency Plan. Feedback from FMD exercises and implementation of FMD Directive to be reflected in later revisions.

Regions

3.16 The use of the regional media and regional engagement of stakeholders would be crucial in any future outbreak. The FMD Contingency Plan includes references to the GNN and Defra regional stakeholder coordinators, who would play a key role.

Briefing Unit/Hub and Spoke

3.17 The FMD Contingency Plan includes references to the establishment of an ‘information dissemination and exchange unit’, building on the current Briefing Unit; this will play a key role in putting out information across the board on vaccination.

4. Key messages of Communication

4.1 See messages in Annex 2

Recommendation 12: That these key messages form the basis of the presentational approach.

Timing: Complete - messages agreed with stakeholders

  1. All concerned will need to be aware of the role emergency vaccination can play in any future FMD outbreak. The Vaccination Protocol will be a key tool in informing stakeholders of what factors need to be considered before emergency vaccination can be carried out; what the likely outcome would be from its use; and what other measures would also need to be taken alongside vaccination.
  2. The expectations among many groups, fuelled by media and encouraged by its more enthusiastic supporters, may have led many to believe that emergency vaccination would be a ‘magic bullet’ in any future outbreak and that it could have been so in 2001.
  3. Any communication would need to address the role an emergency vaccination campaign could play in controlling a future outbreak.

Recommendation 13: That communications include the possible contribution that emergency vaccination may make in controlling any future outbreak and how decisions will be taken on its use. As an element of this, Vaccination Protocol to be published as part of the Contingency Plan.

Timing: On-going

  1. Key groups will have their particular concerns about emergency vaccination.
  2. These will include trade issues, animal welfare, animal health and food safety. There is also a need to explain how things have changed since 2001 regarding emergency vaccination e.g. changes in OIE rules, new EU FMD Directive etc
  3. Annex 2 indicates stakeholder segmentation, relevant issues and how they may be addressed.

Recommendation 14: That the communications should address and inform the concerns of key groups.

5. Evaluation

  1. It is unlikely that this issue will appear on the ‘radar screen’ of any other than the key organisations; therefore evaluation of the impact of the strategy is not considered worthwhile outside this group.
  2. However, it is crucial that the above work is carried out and monitored. Therefore:

Recommendation 15: Progress towards recommendations 1 – 14 is reviewed formally in writing after six months and updated in line with the review of the contingency plan.

Timing: September 2004

Annex 1 - Full list of Interested Individuals or Organisations

All Farming and Agricultural associations

NFU

FARM

Land Management companies and organisations

BVA

RCVS

Veterinary and animal medicine schools and colleges

Agricultural colleges, training and education organisations

Universities

Independent veterinary practices

RSPCA and animal welfare organisations

CIWF

RSPB

Rare Breeds Trusts and associations

The Federation of Zoological Gardens of GB and Ireland

Wildlife Trust

National Trust

Forestry Commission

Association of National Park Authorities

Assurance Organisations

Countryside Agency

English Nature

Federation of Small Businesses

FWAG

LACORS

Haulage and distribution industry Associations

Tourist Board and related organisations

Local Chambers of Commerce

Ramblers Association

Footpaths and bridleways associations

AA

RAC

National Consumer Council

Consumers Association

Consumer Welfare organisations

Food Standards Agency

British Food and Drink Federation

CBI

BRC

IGD

Red Meat Industry Forum

Slaughterhouses and abattoirs

Consumer organisations

Any interested organisations involved in the food chain from farmers to consumers Exporters Multi-national companies Dairy Council

Pharmaceutical Companies Waste Management and disposal contractors Retailers DIAL BMMA Food Manufacturers and Processors and their industry associations Religious Groups National Foot and Mouth Group

Annex 2 – Stakeholder Segmentation

1. DIRECT CUSTOMERS

Objectives

To ensure farmers, livestock owners and other interested or affected stakeholders:

  • Are aware of the disease control strategy and why it may be different from that undertaken in 2001.
  • Have had the opportunity to be involved in the development of the disease control strategy and as such have bought-in to the strategy.
  • Are aware of and know how to access the logistical and operational plans for disease control policy, particularly emergency vaccination.
  • Are assured that there is public acceptance that products from vaccinated animals are safe to consume.
  • Are advised of measures they can/must take, once the new FMD Order 2004 implementing the EU FMD Directive is in place.
  • Are informed of the need to register “farm animal genetic resources” in advance of an outbreak;

How

This will be achieved by:

  • Communicating the details of the FMD Disease Control Policy and the new EU Directive to all relevant stakeholders.
  • Utilising existing research results and involving key representative stakeholders in developing the communications strategy to ensure the right messages are imparted in the most effective way to maximise the impact and effectiveness amongst stakeholder audiences.
  • Notifying and providing all relevant stakeholders with access to the operational and logistical plans and engaging with stakeholders to ensure that in the event of a future outbreak newcomers to the industry or existing stakeholders know how to access the information.
  • Targeting rare breeds owners and zoos with communications on what the “Farm animal genetic resources”/zoos database is and how they will be able to register on it.
  • Communicating details of any existing initiatives, training courses and networks identified by Animal Health & Welfare Strategy.
  • Working to provide agricultural colleges and education and training establishments with advice and information.

Key Messages

  • Any animals of susceptible species on infected premises and those identified as dangerous contacts would have to be slaughtered to prevent the spread of disease.
  • The Disease Control Strategies – FMD Decision Tree is part of the UK’s FMD Contingency Plan. The new EU Directive on FMD which will be transposed into domestic legislation during 2004 forms the legal basis of any control measures in the event of a future outbreak of FMD.
  • Each outbreak is different and the additional disease control measures used in any outbreak would depend on veterinary and scientific advice.
  • Any animals of susceptible species may be vaccinated depending on veterinary and scientific advice. This may take the form of protective vaccination (vaccination to live) or suppressive vaccination (vaccination to kill). Explanations of both are given in the Vaccination Protocol.
  • The development of a “farm animal genetic resource” database may allow eligible animals to qualify for special measures. Explanation of these “special measures” and how to register on the database.
  • Special measures may be available to susceptible animals kept in zoos.

Intended Outcomes

  • To understand that culling of susceptible animals on infected premises and suspected animals will still take place.
  • To gain acceptance of the possible use of emergency vaccination against FMD as a disease control measure; in particular, that products from vaccinated animals can enter the food chain as normal.
  • Farmers, owners of susceptible species and all relevant stakeholders are aware of disease control strategy and how it will impact on them in the event of a future FMD outbreak.
  • They have had the opportunity to be involved in the development of the policy through consultation and feedback mechanisms and as such have bought into the policy.
  • Stakeholders are aware of, and understand, the logistical and operational plans for disease control, including emergency vaccination, and know how to obtain or access them to identify “what will be happening in the event of an outbreak”.
  • Owners of “rare breeds” are aware of the “farm animal genetic resources” database, what special measures may be available and what the qualifying criteria are.
  • Zoos are aware of what special measures may be available for conservation purposes.

2. INTERESTED ORGANISATIONS, INDIVIDUALS AND PARTNERS

Objectives

  • To advise all relevant stakeholders of measures they can/will need to take in the event of slaughter or vaccination
  • To provide guidance specifically to the meat and dairy industry on the implications of an outbreak in advance of one occurring.
  • To advise all relevant stakeholders of the practical arrangements for and implications of emergency vaccination.
  • To advise and explain to all relevant stakeholders the consequences for international trade of the various disease control options, particularly the use of emergency vaccination.
  • To develop effective communications processes and identify critical information that must be conveyed to all key stakeholders undertaking an operational role in the event of any future outbreak.

How

This will be achieved by:

  • Communicating with key industry stakeholders on the disease control strategy and engaging with them to identify the impact the strategy will have on them and what actions they will need to take. This is likely to be best achieved through meetings with the major stakeholders of each associated industry. Mutually agreed industry action plans can then be drawn up and shared, together with identified communications requirements and processes.
    • Engaging key stakeholders from the meat, dairy, processing and retailing organisations within the food industry to communicate and explain rules for
    • treatments of products from vaccinated animals and from animals from the Protection and Surveillance Zones as set out in the EU FMD Directive.
  • Engaging key stakeholders from all areas of the food industry, particularly those multi-national food manufacturing, processing and packaging companies which have a substantial amount of their revenue generated from food product exports. The impact of the disease control strategy in terms of length of time it will take the country to regain its FMD free trade status will need to be explained and issues around this discussed. Possible impacts with regard to industry insurance premiums against FMD outbreaks and other issues should be openly discussed and agreed action plans communicated.
  • Engaging key stakeholders in the ongoing development of this communications strategy to ensure stakeholders requirements and issues are identified and addressed in order to maximise the effectiveness of communications processes.
  • Working with the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy Working Group to identify suitable existing initiatives, communication channels and events that they are using to communicate with shared stakeholders.

Key Messages

  • Treatments are required to remove the risk of spreading the disease to other animals. There are no risks to human health.
  • The disease control strategy adopted will impact on the length of time it will take the country to recover its FMD free trade status.
  • Defra has arrangements in place for the possible use of emergency vaccination as part of its FMD Contingency Plan. These will impact on all industries associated with farming and food and as such these industries must know and understand what these measures are and what steps need to be taken by them to adhere to the legislation surrounding them.
  • The food industry must understand and adhere to the legal obligations of the new EU Directive on FMD in treating meat and milk products from vaccinated animals and from animals from the Protection and Surveillance Zones.

Intended Outcomes

  • To gain acceptance of emergency vaccination against FMD as a possible disease control measure; in particular, that products from vaccinated animals can enter the food chain as normal.
    • All relevant stakeholders are aware of the measures they need to take to comply and assist with the implementation of the Government’s FMD
    • control strategy, and that they fully understand these may differ according to the strategy which is implemented.
  • The meat and dairy industry are aware of, and adhere to, the rules for treatments of products as set out in the EU FMD Directive in the event of an outbreak.
  • All relevant stakeholders are aware of disease control strategy and its logistical implications and have the knowledge to develop their own implementation and response plans in advance of another outbreak.
  • The farming and food industry understand the implications of the disease control strategy on the length of time it will take the country to recover its FMD free trade status and has considered and taken appropriate steps.
  • The economy is less adversely affected because industry has been better prepared for the consequences of a future outbreak.

3. OTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS AND DELIVERY AGENTS

Objectives

  • To ensure that other Government Departments and Delivery Agents are provided with all the necessary information on operational and practical arrangements that they may be responsible for implementing, in order that they can plan and develop effective partnership communications processes.
  • To develop and refine operational communications processes which will be effective and robust.
  • To identify shared opportunities for improvement in communications.

How

This will be achieved by:

  • Developing and establishing a collaborative forum, with relevant staff in other Government Departments and Delivery Agents, which will develop effective communication processes in sharing best practice prior to any future outbreak.
  • Explaining the practical arrangements and requirements which will need to be put in place in the event of any future outbreak.
  • Sharing Defra’s FMD Contingency Plan and engaging other Government Departments and Delivery Agents in any practice exercises to establish areas for improvement.
  • Sharing factual evidence base to support disease control strategies.
  • Jointly undertaking a test exercise to establish effectiveness of implementation and communication strategies.

Key Messages

  • Defra has an FMD Contingency Plan, developed in consultation with stakeholders, which it will deploy in the event of a future FMD outbreak.
  • Other Government Departments and Delivery Agents must fully understand and take responsibility for the role they have to play in ensuring the FMD Contingency Plan is carried out and communicated effectively.
  • There are specific and clear roles which will need to be undertaken by other Government Departments and Delivery Agents.
  • Effective and robust communication processes must be developed jointly in advance of any future FMD outbreak.

Intended Outcomes

  • Robust and effective communication processes exist between Defra and other Government Departments and Delivery Agents.
  • All necessary Government Departments and Delivery Agents understand the role they will play in the event of a future FMD outbreak and their role within the communications process.
  • Defra and other Government Departments and Delivery Agents have worked together in partnership to develop effective communications with stakeholders to inform them of the new EU Directive on FMD Control and its implications, in advance of a future FMD outbreak.
  • All necessary Government Departments support the communications strategy and have contributed to identifying their role and responsibilities in it.

Annex 3 – Media Grid and Publicity

Key Groups/Target Media

The following grid contains the key groups and the media/publications who we aim to inform about the plans for emergency vaccination in advance of an outbreak.

Audiences Media Target Publications Lead Time
Vets (inc.LVIs) It should be remembered Vet Record Vet Review Week Week
that all key groups also receive Farmers Weekly Farmers Guardian Week Week
information from national, specialist and particularly regional media Farming Today Animal Pharm NFU County Mags ASI New Scientist Two Days Week Month Week Week
Farmers Farmers Weekly Farmers Guardian Week Month
Farming Today Farm Business Week Week
NFU Magazine British Farmer and Grower Month Month
Farming Online Immediate
Welfare RSPCA Magazine Month
Groups CIWF Magazine Month
Food Chain Grocer Week
Meat Trades Journal Week
Checkout Week
Food Manufacture Week
Environmental Guardian Society Two weeks
ENDS Report Week
New Scientist Week
Consumer Which Two weeks
You and Yours Week
Rural BBC Countryfile Country Life Rural Focus Two weeks Week Month
NFU Countryside Magazine Month
General Public General national and regional media TV, radio and written, Countryfile On-going

We would aim to place articles from our experts in these journals in association with announcements, particularly later in the year when the stakeholder process has been completed.

News Pegs

We must make the most of the news pegs available to gain attention in the target media. This will be via press releases, interviews, features and news briefings, as appropriate. Because of the wide interest in FMD, it is anticipated that all the above media will be interested in all the news pegs, particularly the main farming press. However, individual announcements can be targeted more at relevant journals (e.g. science review to New Scientist)

Forthcoming Announcements Dates
Revised Contingency Plan laid before Parliament March
Vaccination Protocol published May (tbc)
Contract for Emergency Vaccination April
Publication of ‘effect on livestock farmers’ paper May (tbc)
Launch of Animal Health and Welfare Strategy June
and Implementation Plan for England
Consultation on FMD Order 2004 Summer 2004
Review of science of FMD vaccination June/July
FMD Exercise end June
Publication of results of CBA Jan/Feb 2005 (year long study)

Between Announcements

We should seek to exploit every opportunity to get references of the work on emergency vaccination.

Non-Media

Website

The Defra website must contain up-to-date and accessible information on the Government’s plans for emergency vaccination; this will include the latest Q and A, links to news releases and the complementary FMD pages, including the contingency plan.

News developments and announcements will be flagged up on the Defra web site front page.

Paid Publicity

The Marketing Section of CD is reviewing the suite of publicity material which is available in ‘final draft’ stage ready for use any future outbreak.

The Publicity plans for the coming financial year are currently considered; possibilities for communicating – pre-crisis - the work on emergency vaccination is:

  • “advertorial “ in target journals; this could be later in the year, when the Vaccination Protocol has been agreed and the legal framework is in place. This will depend on the cost and number of journals selected;
  • direct marketing to third parties and livestock farmers;
  • article in Defra’s new magazine for farmers (working title “Communicating with Farmers”)
  • cross reference to emergency vaccination in any material produced in conjunction with the Animal Health and Welfare Strategy;
  • cross reference, if relevant, to material displayed and available at shows/ relevant events.