Emergency Animal Diseases 1

Subject VETS50007 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Approximately 10-14 hours per week over an 8-week period
Total Time Commitment: Approximately 112 hours per semester
Prerequisites: The following subjects are prerequisites:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Information learned in the prior modules of this course
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on their academic performance are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Stephanie Morrison-Duff
Research and Graduate Studies Manager
Faculty of Veterinary Science
University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010
+61 (0)3 8344 0357
Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on highly contagious livestock epidemics.

Several diseases of domestic mammals are recognised to be of particular importance, due especially to high rates of transmission and/or morbidity and mortality. These include the “vesicular diseases”: foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), Vesicular Stomatitis (VS), and Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD), and two serious diseases of swine: classical swine fever (CSF) and African swine fever (ASF). These diseases have been responsible for two of the most serious animal disease emergencies in recent time, viz. the CSF epidemic in the Netherlands in 1997-98 and the FMD epidemic in the UK in 2001.

This module will use online lecture notes and study materials to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the course of several historical vesicular disease epidemics, including the practical diagnostic challenges presented during them. Accordingly, it will deepen the understanding gained from Modules 1 and 4.

Objectives: On completion of this subject, students will have gained:
• a comprehensive understanding of epidemiology and diagnosis of 5 important epidemic diseases of farm animals: African Swine Fever (ASF), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Swine Vesicular Disease (SVD), Foot and mouth disease (FMD) and Vesicular Stomatitis (VS);
• an in-depth familiarity of the literature describing the events of some of the epidemics of these diseases, inter alia CSF in the Netherlands (1997-98), FMD in the UK (1967-68 and 2001), ASF in Spain (1992) and Vesicular Stomatitis in the USA (1995 – 2005); and
• a capability to make a retrospective critical evaluation of the management of a major animal disease epidemics, including timeliness of the early diagnosis, outbreak response co-ordination, information management, and maintenance of public good-will.

Students will be assessed for participation in weekly forum discussions, group assignment in week 5 and final written exam in week 9 and 10. You will be required to identify a university near you where you can be supervised while sitting the exam.

The assessment components of this subject are:

  • Participation in online forum discussions (15%)
  • Group assignment 4000 words (25%)
  • Written 2-hour final exam (60%)
Prescribed Texts: Students will use a reading list of scientific articles from the current literature.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject, students should have developed their:
• ability to critically interpret the scientific literature describing historical animal disease epidemics; and
• ability to read and write reports critically evaluating the management of a major animal disease epidemics.
Notes: Reliable internet access with at least a medium speed connection and a personal computer are essential for undertaking this online program. The content is accessed through your web browser. Microsoft Office™ and Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent software packages are necessary for assessment tasks, assignments and some class exercises.
Related Course(s): Master of Veterinary Public Health (Emergency Animal Diseases)

Download PDF version.