Emergency Animal Diseases 1

Subject VETS50007 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 5 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

October, Parkville - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 03-Oct-2016 to 25-Nov-2016
Assessment Period End 09-Dec-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Oct-2016
Census Date 21-Oct-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 18-Nov-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Approximately 10 -14 hours per week over an 8 - week period
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

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 may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Simon Firestone


Email: vet-publichealth@unimelb.edu.au

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 subject 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 VETS50003 Selection and Interpretation of Lab Tests and VETS50006 Epidemiology of Epidemics.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students will have gained:

  • A comprehensive understanding of epidemiology and diagnosis of several important epidemic diseases of farm animals
  • 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 its more recent incursion into Georgia and VS in the USA (1995 – 2005)
  • 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 goodwill

Students will be assessed for participation in weekly forum discussions, group assignment in week 5 and final written exam in week 9 and 10. Students will be required to arrange an appropriate venue (e.g. a nearby university) to sit this assessment under supervised examination conditions.

The assessment components of this subject are:

  • Participation in online forum discussions worth 15%
  • One 4000 group assignment worth 25%
  • A two-hour written exam to be held at the end of the study period worth 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
  • Ability to read and write reports critically evaluating the management of a major animal disease epidemics

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): Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Public Health (EAD)
Graduate Diploma in Veterinary Public Health (EAD)
Master of Veterinary Public Health (Emergency Animal Diseases)
Postgraduate Certificate in Veterinary Public Health (EAD)
Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Public Health (EAD)

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