Published: 07 Aug 2023 | Last Updated: 14 Aug 2023 15:45:31

The World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) has published a Scientific and Technical Review of Animal Health Data Management, exploring the decision-making and evidence required to effectively manage animal diseases. The review also highlights the importance of governance considerations and organisations like WOAH in data surveillance, disease control and policy.

The Review, comprising 23 papers, and co-ordinated by Professor Stuart Reid CBE, President & Principal at the Royal Veterinary College, London, includes studies ranging from the food animal sector to wildlife species and companion animal programmes. It demonstrates how the success of animal disease management is intimately connected to the quality of data on which both strategic and operational decisions are based.

Further, the collection of studies and reviews in this publication illustrates the when, why and how of the use of data and the application of quantitative techniques from the macro (population) to the microbiological ends of the spectrum. This highlights the importance of high-quality data in disease management and illustrates how data can inform policies and practices to protect animal and public health.

This Review is the latest publication by the RVC and Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), which was recognised by WOAH as a Collaborating Centre for Risk Analysis and Modelling in 2019. The Centre combines the research and consultancy expertise of the RVC and APHA, both of which have strong track records in working with others, including government and academic partners from more than 50 countries and 140 institutes in recent years.

Led by Professor Reid, the Centre draws on the knowledge and skills of world-leading risk analysts, modellers, epidemiologists and animal health economists to deliver its work. It focuses on five workstreams: data modelling, economic modelling, epidemiological and statistical modelling, mathematical modelling and risk analysis.

Through these workstreams, the Centre provides expert advice and input on scientific research, standardisation of techniques and dissemination of knowledge on risk analysis and surveillance of threats to public health. Since its launch, the Centre has been promoting and facilitating the use of risk analysis and modelling to inform policies aimed at controlling disease and protecting public health.

Professor Stuart Reid CBE, President & Principal of the RVC, said:

“It has been a privilege to work with colleagues at WOAH in co-ordinating this most recent edition of the review. As the editorial makes clear, we live in a time of big data in a world that is getting smaller – and the scientific and policy offering from authors around the world exemplifies the importance of data in addressing the production and disease challenges we face as a planet.”

Notes to Editors

The Collaborating Centre website provides further information on the team of experts, publications and news updates.

A short video about the Centre can also be viewed here:

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About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.
  • It is one of the few veterinary schools in the world that hold accreditations from the RCVS in the UK (with reciprocal recognition from the AVBC for Australasia, the VCI for Ireland and the SAVC for South Africa), the EAEVE in the EU, and the AVMA in the USA and Canada.
  • The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2023.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.  
  • The RVC is a research led institution with 88% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

About the Animal and Plant Health Agency

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) works across Great Britain to protect animal and plant health to benefit people, the economy, and the environment.

APHA is an executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and also works on behalf of the Scottish Government and Welsh Government.

APHA is responsible for responding to biosecurity threats to the UK from endemic or exotic animal diseases (including zoonotic diseases), pests and diseases of plants and bees, and invasive non-native species.

Our scientific expertise

  • APHA is one of the world’s leading research centres in the field of animal and veterinary public health.
  • APHA hosts 23 international reference laboratories, which are designated by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH); World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
  • APHA is the designated UK national reference laboratory for 49 diseases.
  • Jointly with the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) we are recognised by the FAO as the Reference Centre for Antimicrobial resistance.
  • APHA published over 200 peer-reviewed papers in the past year and trained PhD and MSc students in a variety of scientific disciplines.

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