Emergency Animal Diseases 4

Subject VETS50010 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

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

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Approximately 10-14 hours per week over an 8-week period
Total Time Commitment:

Approximately 112 hours per semester


The following subjects are prerequisites:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012
Not offered in 2012


Recommended Background Knowledge:

Information learned in the prior modules of this course

Non Allowed Subjects:


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.


Helen Smithwick
Academic programs & Student Centre Manager
Faculty of Veterinary Science
University of Melbourne
Victoria 3010
+61 (0)3 8344 8906

Subject Overview:

This subject focuses on emergency diseases of poultry and aquatic species.

The poultry and aquatic industries share several features in common with respect to emergency animal disease. These include the high stocking densities of susceptible animals and the dependence upon effective biosecurity to prevent disease outbreaks. If this biosecurity breaks down, or new diseases or strains are introduced, massive mortalities may result, the foremost recent examples being the continuing H5N1 epidemic in poultry and the recurring outbreaks of White Spot Syndrome (WSS) in shrimp.

This module will use online lecture notes and study materials to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the major emergency diseases of poultry and aquatics. Accordingly, it will deepen the understanding gained from Modules 1 and 4, and expand on the understanding from Modules 5, 7 and 9.


On completion of this subject, students will have gained:
• a comprehensive understanding of epidemiology and diagnosis of three important poultry diseases (highly pathogenic avian influenza, Newcastle disease and Infectious bursal disease) and four important aquatic diseases (White Spot Syndrome, viral haemorrhagic septicaemia, infectious salmon anaemia and infection with koi herpesvirus);
• an in-depth familiarity of the literature describing outbreaks of these diseases, with a focus particularly on outbreak investigations and management of H5N1 and WSS in the intensively farmed poultry and shrimp in Asia; and
• a capability to make a critical evaluation of disease outbreak investigations and the implementation of management and control measures in the intensive poultry and aquaculture farms.


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 of 4000 words (25%)
  • Written 2-hour final exam (60%)
Prescribed Texts:

Students will use a reading list of scientific articles from the current literature, which will be provided on-line.

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 eradication campaigns; and
• ability to read and write reports critically evaluating the investigation and management of emergency outbreaks diseases in intensive poultry and aquaculture farms.


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.