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Animal Health and Welfare: FMD Data Archive

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Early in the course of the epidemic in 2001, it was realised that, as potentially the most thoroughly documented large outbreak of an animal disease in the world, the data then stored in a range of diverse systems, involving several proprietary databases, spreadsheets, paper records and electronic documents should be copied into one modern, relational database for posterity. The data should be in as finalised, complete and correct a form as possible and should be available to the bona fide scientific community for future research into epidemiological or other scientific areas. Furthermore, compliant with the policy of open government, summaries of the relevant information should be available to the general public, compliant with confidentiality under the Agriculture and Data Protection Acts and openness under future Environment and Freedom of Information Acts.

To this end, a project was begun by the Central Science Laboratory, an executive agency of Defra, to garner as many of the electronic or other sources of information as were available within and across all of the disease control centres throughout Great Britain. The project has collected data from a range of sources outlined in Figure 1 and summarised in Appendix 1.

Appendix 1

Definitions of the data sources within the FMD Data Recovery and Reconciliation database.

DCS - the Disease Control System - a SQL-server database developed by Defra to manage much of the day-to-day administration of the foot and mouth disease outbreak.

Animal Compensation - a specific table within DCS, but not directly linked to any of the premises concerned with the outbreak, outlining amounts of compensation paid for livestock.

Carlisle Invoice system - a SQL-Server database breaking down invoices paid from Carlisle and some other DCCs into detail covering all financial aspects of the FMD outbreak.

Oracle Financials (RAMIS) - The central accounts database of Defra, giving breakdown of expenditure across the epidemic by major cost codes.

Serology - individual serology test results on animals summed across all participationg laboratories.

Diagnostics Pirbright - individual test results for all samples sent to Pirbright Laboratory for FMD diagnostic tests.

VLA epidemiology database - a copy of the final database of information on Ips held at VLA, Weighbridge.

Carlisle epidemiology reports on IPs - a detailed database of information prepared by vets in the field on each IP including sources of infection, infection windows, and tracings carried out.

COBR Daily Stats- copies of the daily downloads of information from DCS passed onto to generate the daily COBR reports.

COBR Daily reports - copies of all the daily Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms reports on progress and containment of the outbreak.

LWDS - data on animals slaughtered as part of the livestock welfare disposal scheme resulting from the effects of the FMD outbreak.

CTS - a complete snapshot of the cattle tracing system covering all cattle alive and on-farm at the onset of the epidemic, giving individual details of animal ear tag number, breed, sex, time and destination of movement and birth and death.

Figure 1

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