Emergency Animal Diseases 4

Subject VETS50010 (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:

April, Parkville - Taught online/distance.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 18-Apr-2016 to 10-Jun-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 28-Apr-2016
Census Date 06-May-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 03-Jun-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: None
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 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 subject 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 VETS50003 Selection and Interpretation of Lab Tests and VETS50006 Epidemiology of Epidemics, and expand on the understanding from VETS50007 Emergency Animal Disease 1, VETS50008 Emergency Animal Diseases 2 and VETS50009 Emergency Animal Diseases 3.

Learning Outcomes:

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
  • 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 Weeks 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 group assignment of 4000 words worth 25%
  • A two-hour written exam 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, which will be provided online.

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
  • 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 Officeâ„¢ and Adobe Acrobat Reader or equivalent software packages are necessary for assessment tasks, assignments and some class exercises.

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

Download PDF version.