Please note, the following information is for the general government part-subsidised postmortem examination (PME). For information on the Cull Ewe Health Monitoring Postmortem Examinations, then please see the separate section below.
Prior to requesting a postmortem (PME) it is important to ensure this is the most appropriate method of investigation in the particular case. Your veterinary practice must speak to the duty Veterinary Investigation Officer (VIO) to discuss the PME before submission. In some cases it may be more suitable to submit samples to a testing laboratory before opting for a PME (check out the APHA sample submission handbook for guidance). In order for us to decide whether we can accept a carcase or not please be prepared to be able to answer these simple questions. Farm details, when was the animal last seen alive, vaccinations or treatments given, age of animal, how many animals have died. A fully completed submission form should be submitted prior to the animal arriving for PME.
Our Farm Animal PMEs may only be accepted if the following criteria apply:
The standard fallen stock disposal fee will be charged for all carcasses, including any received without prior agreement between the veterinary surgeon and the duty VIO. Postal submissions should be sent to your preferred testing laboratory.
If submitting live animals for PME the decision must take into account the Welfare in Transport Legislation.
Some submissions will be investigated as part of a contract for surveillance of livestock diseases with the Animal & Plant Health Agency (for more information see the APHA Vet Gateway website).
Farmed livestock that may be suitable for subsidised PME for surveillance include alpacas, cattle, deer, game birds, goats, llamas, pigs, poultry, rabbits, sheep and water buffalo.
The area covered by the Wales Veterinary Science Centre Ltd is detailed within the leaflets produced by APHA below. A postcode finder has also been published to help show the surveillance coverage area. Submissions within the coverage area of special interest to APHA may be subject to additional laboratory testing at no extra cost to the submitter.
In this focus article, Fin Twomey, head of the APHA’s Surveillance Intelligence Unit, describes how the APHA delivers veterinary scanning surveillance in England and Wales and provides an update on recent changes to the network. Read more in the dedicated focus article in the Veterinary Record which is available here: https://bvajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/vetr.477
We may also be able to provide PMEs for companion animals and wildlife. If you need such a service please consult the duty VIO to establish whether this is possible, any procedures to be followed and the costs involved.
If you wish to submit a livestock carcase or have any queries please contact us on 01970 612374.
Prices exclude VAT. Valid from 1st January 2021. May be subject to change.
* Disposal charges for pigs, goats, deer and camelids available on request
We offer Cull Ewe health monitoring postmortem examinations for those who wish to investigate the presence of ’iceberg diseases’ and other potential health issues in their flocks (please click here for a pdf info sheet).
Iceberg diseases, as the name suggests, refers to those chronic infections which for every sheep presenting with obvious signs, many more remain undiagnosed in the flock. Early identification of these diseases is key to ensuring effective control measures can be put in place. The UK sheep industry has identified five significant iceberg diseases which are ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), ovine paratuberculosis or ovine Johne’s disease (OJD), border disease (BD), Maedi Visna (MV), and contagious lymphadenitis (CLA).
There are a variety of diagnostic tests available to identify and monitor disease presence on farm, however just testing clinical cases is not sufficient. By the time clinical cases occur, disease is often widespread throughout the flock. Active surveillance, if done well, can become an early warning system to alert you before a disease becomes established. It is also useful to understand which diseases are not present to help maintain a healthy flock.
In active surveillance, a representative sample of animals are tested for disease. Yet for some diseases there are no reliable tests to make a diagnosis and postmortem examination (PME) is the only option. Whilst clinically ‘healthy’ cull ewes are not eligible for government subsidised diagnostic PMEs, the WVSC now offers the option for Cull Ewe Health Monitoring PMEs.
The Cull Ewe Health Monitoring PME of up to three sheep will investigate the presence of iceberg diseases and other common production limiting disease.
Included in the Cull Ewe Health Monitoring PME:
The cost of this service is £95.00* +VAT for up to three cull sheep (plus £16/sheep disposal).
A report with the results will be sent out to the vet practice by email within 48 working hours after performing the PMEs