UK Surveillance Forum (UKSF)

The UK Surveillance Forum (UKSF) coordinates and oversees animal health surveillance activities in the UK.

The UK Surveillance Forum (UKSF) is the key forum for the coordination and oversight of surveillance activities in the UK. It will allow us to:

  • develop a single view of the UK’s animal health status
  • evidence this to our stakeholders including trading partners
  • identify new and emerging threats

It will facilitate better co-ordination through cross-government working, joint initiatives and campaigns, and enable greater sharing of information and best practice.

See our publications (including our terms of reference).

What is ‘Surveillance’?

For the purposes of the UK Surveillance Forum, ‘surveillance’ is defined as:

The systematic, continuous or repeated, measurement, collection, collation, analysis, interpretation and timely dissemination of animal health and welfare related data from defined populations. These data are then used to describe health hazard occurrence and to contribute to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of risk mitigation actions (Adapted from OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Glossary)

Definitions of the different types of surveillance are included in Annex A of the Terms of Reference.


The objectives of the UKSF are to:

  1. develop a UK strategic approach to animal health surveillance, including setting of priorities for surveillance across the UK as a whole
  2. provide a forum for discussion and agreement on options for delivery in accordance with the UKSF’s outcomes and priorities, recognising that delivery is devolved
  3. identify risks to a coordinated UK approach to surveillance, and opportunities for collaboration and joint projects across Administrations
  4. challenge collectively the current ways of working, considering the emerging potential for future partnerships with industry, new technology, data sources
  5. ensure outside expertise is integrated to permit innovation and constructive challenge


Surveillance activities

The UKSF will consider all aspects of surveillance to the extent that it aims to take a ‘bird’s eye view’ of surveillance activities throughout the UK.


The UKSF will consider all kept and wild animals (including livestock, equines, pollinators, aquatic/ marine and companion animals). However, the members of the Forum may determine priority species which may change from time to time.


The UKSF will cover surveillance activities across the whole of the UK. It will include all activities that contribute to the UK’s animal health status, as well as those that aim to detect threats from overseas (i.e. horizon scanning and international disease monitoring).


The UKSF will consist of the chief veterinary officers for each Administration, their deputies and key surveillance policy leads. Depending on the subject, external speakers and experts may be invited. The CVO (UK) will chair meetings.

Forum membership is reviewed annually to ensure representation remains relevant and appropriate.

Membership of the Forum (October 2018)

UK and England (Defra)

Chief Veterinary Officer (UK) - Christine Middlemiss

Deputy CVO - Graeme Cooke

Policy lead: exotic disease control - Gordon Hickman

Policy lead: UK trade - Sarah Sheridan

Secretariat - Ellen Brown

Scotland (Scottish Government)

Policy director/Chief Veterinary Officer (Scotland) - Sheila Voas

Deputy CVO - Jesus Gallego

Policy lead - Nick Ambrose

Wales (Welsh Government)

Policy director/Chief Veterinary Officer (Wales) - Christianne Glossop

Senior Veterinary Officer/policy lead - Gavin Watkins

Northern Ireland (DAERA)

Chief Veterinary Officer (Northern Ireland)/Policy director - Robert Huey

Deputy CVO/DVO - Perpetua McNamee

Policy lead - Jim Blee

Contact details


Contact details