Changes to post-mortem services in England and Wales

Pipette and petri dishes

Read how the changes to the Animal and Plant Health Agency’s (APHA) post-mortem examination and diagnostic testing service might affect you.

The APHA Surveillance Intelligence Unit and Surveillance and Laboratory Services provides a major component of the GB scanning surveillance network.

The network works closely with vets and farmers to both detect and investigate new or re-emerging disease, and to diagnose endemic diseases in farm animals.

During January and February 2021, they announced that three additional post-mortem examination (PME) providers have joined the scanning surveillance network. These are the Universities of Cambridge, Liverpool and Nottingham.

This broadens the expertise of, and contributors to, livestock disease surveillance in England and Wales and also brings livestock premises in the areas they cover closer to a post-mortem provider.

The new PME providers join the five current PME providers (Royal Veterinary College, Universities of Surrey and Bristol, the Wales Veterinary Science Centre, and SRUC Veterinary Services St Boswells) that work together with the six APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres, all of which will continue their valued contribution to scanning surveillance.

What you need to know

Key points about accessing PME in APHA’s scanning surveillance network:

  • Each PME provider has an assigned area as shown in colour on the map on this link:
  • Within each assigned area, the hatched area shows where premises are eligible for free carcass collection and delivery of animals to the PME provider
  • Premises within non-hatched areas need to arrange to deliver animals themselves
  • The postcode search tool identifies and provides contact details for the allocated PME provider and indicates if the premises is eligible for free carcass collection. This is based on the postcode of the premises from where an animal is to be submitted rather than a veterinary practice:
  • To arrange a PME, the vet calls the relevant PME provider to speak to the duty veterinary inspection office/vet
  • There will be some livestock premises for which the allocated PME provider has changed, and the free carcass collection service may no longer be provided for some holdings. The APHA postcode search tool allows farmers and vets to see the situation for individual premises.