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An exercise will get underway over the coming weeks to test contingency plans for an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease, the Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop announced today.

First published:
7 February 2018
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

Welsh Government officials and veterinary experts will work in partnership with counterparts in the Devolved Administrations, Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on a real-time simulation of an outbreak, called ‘Exercise Blackthorn’.
The simulation exercise will see a series of desk based exercises, known as “tabletops", taking place over the next few months and a two day live exercise will take place on 25 and 26 April.  
‘Exercise Blackthorn’ will stimulate a medium to large scale outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease that has spread from England to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as within England.  
Chief Veterinary Officer Christianne Glossop said: 
“Having effective contingency plans are crucial to containing and managing the spread of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease.It is also a requirement of the European Union.
“The effectiveness of our plans must be fully tested so we can establish our current state of readiness for such an outbreak.  Exercise Blackthorn will present an opportunity to identify any issues and improvements in the policies, plans, instructions and procedures we employ in managing an outbreak of the disease.”