This document contains the following information: Foot and mouth disease 2007: a review and lessons learned
The 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth was set out in a report published in 2002, providing an analysis of what happened with recommendations (HCP 888, session 2001-02, ISBN 9780102976243).
Another FMD outbreak occurred in the Summer of 2007 and the Government again asked Dr Iain Anderson to conduct a review and find out if the lessons of 2001 had been learned and whether new recommendations are needed. This report is built around the findings of 2001, with a particular look at the Pirbright facility, the source of the virus incriminated in this recent outbreak.
Dr Anderson’s states that he found much to applaud in the handling of the 2007 outbreak along with some deficiencies, but states the positive outweighs the negative. The report commends the strong leadership of the Prime Minister, as well as the contingency planning and better integration of scientific advice and the capabilities at the centre of disease control strategies.
External communication was also greatly improved. Less encouraging were the inadequate infrastructure and governance of the Pirbright facility where the Institute for Animal Health is located and the poor regulatory regime in place to licence work with dangerous animal pathogens. Defra’s information systems too were found wanting.
The report also recommends that the Institute of Animal Health should become the new National Institute of Infectious Diseases, supported by multiple sources of funding from government and elsewhere. Also recommended is the creation of an Independent Advisory Committee on Animal and Emerging Infectious Diseases, combining a high level group of experts along with other stakeholders with a mission to provide independent advice to government and link closely with the Government’s and departmental Chief Scientific Advisors and include the Chief Veterinary Office and Chief Medical Officer amongst its members.
This paper was laid before Parliament in response to a legislative requirement or as a Return to an Address and was ordered to be printed by the House of Commons.