This report contains the details of Exercise Walnut, the UK’s 2013 Classical Swine Fever exercise, organised by Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency’s (AHVLA) Contingency Planning Division (CPD) on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Scottish Government (SG) and the Welsh Government (WG). The Department for Agriculture and Rural Development, Northern Ireland (DARDNI) also played in the exercise. This report evaluates the exercise and records the lessons identified for further action.
The primary purpose of Exercise Walnut was to test the contingency plans for exotic notifiable diseases of animals and the control strategies for an outbreak of Classical Swine Fever (CSF) of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and in particular how these interact in the event of a medium to large scale outbreak that involves all 4 administrations. It also tested the operational response of AHVLA and its operational partners and engagement with stakeholder groups.
Exercise Walnut provided an effective examination of the contingency plans and control strategies that would be invoked in the event of an outbreak of CSF. Feedback from participants and observers was positive. The exercise was seen as being well-planned and challenging. It successfully met its objectives and provided reassurance that the UK and its 4 administrations would be able to respond effectively to a similar sized outbreak of exotic disease. Of encouragement was: the development of remote Local Disease Control Centre (LDCC) functions such as tracings and surveillance and closer engagement amongst the different governments, their operational partners (OPs) and stakeholders.
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