In Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), WNF is notifiable by law under the Infectious Diseases of Horses Order 1987. Under the Order, anyone who owns, manages, inspects or examines a horse or carcase which is affected or is suspected of being affected by the disease must notify the Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA). Please see Appendix 1 for APHA contact details.
Under the ‘testing to exclude’ process, APHA now provides testing for WNV as part of a veterinary surgeon’s clinical work up of cases with non-specific neurological signs where WNV is very low on the list of differentials. The private vet must first contact APHA (see Appendix 1) to discuss the case with an APHA duty vet. If after these discussions it is decided that the clinical signs are suggestive of WNV, APHA will initiate a field investigation.If the case is not suspected to be WNV, a sample can be submitted to APHA under the ‘testing to exclude’ process. Further details of this scheme are available at apha.defra.gov.uk/vet-gateway/tte/wnv.htm.