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Organisation Reference Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Wildpro Referenced Responsibilities:- Conventions, Legislation, Codes of Conduct, Manuals --

This information has been provided by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency and is supplied in its original format.

Surveillance for Wildlife Diseases by the VLA

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs) have instigated a level of wildlife disease surveillance in England and Wales. This will focus on investigating the causes of unusual wildlife disease and mortality. The priority cases are those involving mass mortality and where infectious diseases are thought to be involved. (Poisoning of wildlife is investigated by the DEFRA WIIS Scheme, Freephone 0800 321600.)

If your organisation is aware of unusual disease in wildlife please contact the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) Regional Laboratory closest to the incident (a list of these is attached). There are 15 Regional Laboratories all with expertise in disease investigation. The person making the submission should ask to speak to the duty veterinary investigation officer. If the case is accepted for submission the post-mortem examinations will be free of charge and the submitting body will receive a copy of the laboratory reports.

West Nile Virus Fever surveillance

At present, DEFRA would like to assess West Nile Fever. Although not recorded in the UK this disease has recently been reported in wild birds and a small number of people in North America. Affected birds present with no signs and may die in some numbers. We are keen that anything similar in the UK is submitted to a Regional Laboratory to try and exclude West Nile and other viral diseases. We appreciate that avian botulism may present a similar picture in sick birds but the two conditions can usually be separated following veterinary examination, if birds are presented live.


VLA Aberystwyth
Y Buarth, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 1ND
Tel: 01970 61374
VLA Penrith
Merrythought, Calthwaite, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 9RR
Tel: 01768 885295
VLA Bury St Edmunds
Rougham Hill, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk IP33 2RX
01284 724499
VLA Preston
Barton Hall, Garstang Road, Barton, Preston, Lancs PR3 5HE
Tel: 01772 861611
VLA Carmarthen
Job's Well Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen, SA31 3EZ
Tel: 01267 235244
VLA Shrewsbury
Kendal Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY1 4HD
Tel: 01743 467621
VLA Langford
Langford House, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DX
Tel: 01934 852421
VLA Starcross
Staplake Mount, Starcross, Exeter, Devon EX6 8PE
Tel: 01626 891121
VLA Lasswade
International Research Centre, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ
Tel: 0131 445 6169
VLA Sutton Bonington
The Elms, College Road, Sutton Bonington, Loughborough, Leics LE12 5RB
Tel: 01509 672332
VLA Luddington
Luddington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 9SJ
Tel: 01789 750212
VLA Thirsk
West House, Station Road, Thirsk, N. Yorkshire YO7 1PZ
Tel: 01845 522065
VLA Newcastle
Whitley Road, Longbenton, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 9SE
Tel 0191 266 2292
VLA Truro
Polwhele, Truro, Cornwall TR4 9AD
Tel: 01872 272150
VLA Winchester
Itchen Abbas, Winchester, Hants SO21 1BX
Tel: 01962 779966
Dates Referenced August 2001
Contact Details

For general enquiries please contact

Mr Paul Duff, Project Leader, Endemic Diseases of Wildlife
VLA Penrith,
CA11 9RR

Tel 01768 885295,

Fax 01768 885314

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