UK Surveillance Forum (UKSF)

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

The United Kingdom Surveillance Forum (UKSF) is the key forum for the coordination and oversight of surveillance activities in each of the administrations in the UK. It provides:

  • a structure and direction to develop a single view of the UK’s animal health status
  • the evidence to assure this
  • our approach for identifying 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)

Objectives

The objectives of the UKSF are to:

  1. develop a UK strategic approach including setting priorities for animal health surveillance and horizon scanning for new and emerging threats in the UK and worldwide
  2. provide a forum for discussion and agreement on recommendations and 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, consider the potential for future partnerships with industry, new technology and data sources
  5. ensure external, impartial and independent expertise is integrated in discussions on animal health surveillance to promote innovation and constructive challenge

Scope

Surveillance activities

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

Species

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

Geography

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 (such as horizon scanning and international disease monitoring). The UKSF may also periodically review the surveillance activities of any Crown Dependency or Overseas Territory (in consultation with them).

Outcomes

The UKSF will develop and maintain:

  1. A concise strategic narrative setting out the UK’s approach to monitoring and surveillance of animal health; and animal-related risks to health in wider society.
  2. Clear direction and priorities for all animal health surveillance and monitoring activities.

Membership

The UKSF will consist of the chief veterinary officer (CVO) for each Administration, their deputies (DCVO) and key surveillance and trade policy leads.

The UKSF members will be responsible for liaising with policy leads within their administration responsible for any species or threats not within their immediate policy responsibility and for representing their views at UKSF meetings.

In addition, the UKSF extends a standing invitation to the CVOs and surveillance policy leads from the Crown Dependencies (the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) to attend UKSF meetings as observers.

Depending on the subject, external speakers and experts may be invited to participate in UKSF meetings as observers. These may include delivery bodies, stakeholders and representatives from other government departments and agencies.

Membership of the UKSF (as of September 2020)

UK and England (Defra)

UK Chief Veterinary Officer - Christine Middlemiss

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer and Policy Lead – UK Trade - Richard Irvine

Policy lead: exotic disease control and surveillance - Gordon Hickman

Policy Lead and Secretariat - Lara Harrup

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

Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer (DCVO) and policy lead - Gavin Watkins

Northern Ireland (DAERA)

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

Deputy CVO/DVO - Brian Dooher

Policy lead - Jim Blee

Policy lead - Anne Loughran

Contact details

Secretariat: UKSF@defra.gov.uk

Contact details

uksf@defra.gov.uk