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13 Jan 2017

Extension of free carcase collection areas in England for diagnostic post mortem examinations 

APHA has reviewed the contracts held for the provision of post mortem examination (PME) services from non-APHA surveillance partners. This has resulted in more areas of England being eligible for free carcase collection from 3 January 2017. There are no changes to the surveillance services available in Wales.

These changes will mean that more farmers benefit from the carcase collection services where a veterinarian has recommended a post mortem should be carried out for disease surveillance and diagnostic purposes.

Scanning surveillance PME services in England are currently provided through a mixture of APHA’s own Veterinary Investigation Centres (VIC) and a number of non-APHA partners – the University of Bristol, the Royal Veterinary College, the University of Surrey, and the Scottish Agricultural College (covering Northumberland). 

PMEs have also been provided through the use of fallen stock sites in some areas of England, but the use of fallen stock sites that are under contract to APHA will cease. 

Within the catchment area of these PME facilities, usually around an hour’s drive time from the centre, farmers are asked to transport carcases for post mortem by their own means. However, outside of these catchment areas exists a network of carcase collection contractors who can collect and transport livestock carcases for investigation.

Whilst there is a charge for the post mortem service, carcase collection is provided free of charge to farmers, although only where a post mortem is agreed to be of surveillance value – the services are not provided for the purposes of general carcase disposal.

A revised map showing the scanning surveillance network across England and Wales has been added to the Vet Gateway. The postcode search tool can be used to identify local post mortem examination centres or the availability of carcase collection services.