Scenario Planning - The future of animal health surveillance in Scotland

In October 2016, EPIC scientists led a scenario planning workshop to explore the long-term future of animal health surveillance in post-Brexit Scotland.

Participants were invited to attend a two-day event, held in Edinburgh. They comprised a multidisciplinary audience from diverse backgrounds including: farming (pigs, poultry, cattle and sheep sectors), companion animal sectors (small animal and equidae), wildlife conservation, environment and climate change, economics, social science, digital data management and preservation, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, law and policy (represented by participants from both Scottish Government and UK- level organisations and agencies). Participants were given the role of scenario planners, tasked with engaging in strategic thinking through a series of carefully crafted exercises that resulted in the creation of five scenarios describing the situation in 2030. For the purposes of this study, the definition of surveillance was taken from the Kinnaird Report (2011) and was considered to include: the continuous detection of the occurrence and distribution of hazards (including diseases, infections or health syndromes) for livestock, wildlife, domestic animals and human public health.  

A historical timeline was developed to encourage participants to think about and discuss drivers that have influenced animal health surveillance in Scotland since 1940 to the present day (2016). This timeline considers important factors which have had a direct impact on the evolution of surveillance as well as other exogenous factors which may have had an indirect impact.

Participants next considered "driving forces" of change which shape the environment for the future of animal surveillance in Scotland.  

A scenario planning report, summarising the workshop findings can be downloaded directly here. A scientific paper 'Animal Health Surveillance in Scotland in 2030: Using Scenario Planning to Develop Strategies in the Context of “Brexit”', based on the workshop findings can be found on the Frontiers in Veterinary Science website.

EPIC’s scenario planning workshop team

Dr. Lisa Boden (University of Glasgow)

Dr. Harriet Auty (SRUC)

Dr. Aaron Reeves (SRUC)

Dr. Paul Bessell (The Roslin Institute)

Dr. Gustaf Rydevik (The Roslin Institute)

Dr. Iain J. McKendrick (BioSS)

Mr. Tony Mckay (Illustrator)


EPIC is very grateful to the participants of the scenario planning workshops held in October 2016. In particular, we would also like to acknowledge and thank the illustrator, Tony McKay, for his significant contribution to the artistic direction and vision for the workshop and this report. In discussion with Lisa Boden, Tony created bespoke images, one for each of the drivers used in the prioritisation exercise. He also illustrated the historical timeline, developed images for each of the scenarios and created an overall design language for the look of the workshop materials. The value of his contribution cannot be overstated and was noted by nearly all participants.

We thank Professor Dominic Mellor, Professor Alistair Stott, Drs. Giles Innocent, Alyson Barratt and Luiza Toma for their help and support reviewing workshop drivers. We would also like to thank Auguste Brihn, Conor O’Hallaran, Fiona Allan, Frederieke Peto, Drs. Ian Hutchinson and Julie Stirling for acting as scribes for the event and Dr. Jiayi Liu for her photography.

Website design by Innovation Digital Limited