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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies : BVMS

Undergraduate Course: Veterinary Public Health (BVMS10039)

Course Outline
SchoolRoyal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course follows up on the Veterinary Public Health subjects being introduced to the students during the 1st year and comprises lectures and practicals to build in concepts around importance of safe food and public health and the role of animal welfare. The course covers principles of safe food production including food microbiology, encompassing all aspects of food safety from farm to table, food borne infections and role of food hygiene authorities/legislation at the national and international level.
Course description This course will provide a foundation that will enable the students to develop an interest for and knowledge of VPH topics especially concerning food hygiene. At the end of the course students will be able to:

- Underline the role of the veterinary surgeon in protecting public health, included in a 'One Health' approach to the hygienic production of food of animal origin in the UK and in Europe.
- Describe the key steps of the food chain and assess them using the 'Farm to Fork' approach.
- Apply the main European and UK legislation related to the identification of zoonotic diseases, the traceability of animals and food of animal origin, hygienic production of food and animal welfare.
- Describe the key principles involved in food producing establishment hygienic design and operational processes.
- Explain the importance of animal welfare during transport and at slaughter and how this is related to food safety and quality of product in the food chain (including poultry and fishery products).
- Describe the link between animal identification, food chain information, traceability and labelling of food of animal origin, and prevention of food fraud.
- Assess hygienic production and prevent the risk associated with food of animal origin (including milk, poultry, eggs, wild game and fish).
- Demonstrate the advantage of using a food safety management system (FSMS) to control hazards in food of animal origin and how auditing of FSMSs are performed.
- Discuss the importance of food microbiology, including principles of antimicrobial resistance in food, the main food preservation techniques and interpret microbiological testing results.
- Explain the relationships between Ante Mortem Inspection, food chain information, Post Mortem Inspection and communication of inspection results to farmers and veterinarians with the view of improving efficiency of the food supply chain.
- Apply the principals involved in emergency slaughter of food producing animals at the farm of origin.
- Make a judgement on fitness of food of animal origin for human consumption.
- Explain the various aspects of veterinary public health including non-foodborne zoonoses.
- Explain the relationships between the environment and the correct disposal of waste from the farm and food producing establishments.
- Explain the importance of the National Surveillance Scheme on residues in the UK and prevent the risk to public health derived from chemical hazards in food.

Practical Course Objectives

At the end of the Meat Inspection practical sessions students will be able to:
1) (Session 1) Recall basic, comparative and topographic veterinary anatomy and in particular:
- Identification of species and organ.
- Comparative anatomy with other species.
- Normal features and pH of meat.

2) (Session 1) Practice methodology and techniques of post-mortem inspection (PMI) in red meat animals and in particular:
- Legal requirements for PMI.
- Principles of inspection of carcass, red and green offal.
- Visual inspection.
- Palpation.
- Incision (including safe use of knives).
3) (Session 2) Examine gross anatomical pathology specimen and in particular:
- Identification of lesions.
- Suspect diagnosis.
- Differential diagnosis.
- Possible test available in abattoirs.
- Identification of possible aetiological agents and their relevance for public health.
- Basic epidemiology of disease.
4) (Session 2) Recall and recognise parasitology lesions of interest in meat inspection and in particular:
- Generality on parasites life cycle.
- Epidemiology.
- Relevance for public health.
- Trichinella testing in abattoirs.
- Cold treatment of infested meat (cysticercosis and trichinosis).
5) (Session 3) Underline other specific hazards of interest in meat inspection and in particular:
- Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies.
- Tuberculosis.
- Brucellosis.
- Compulsory slaughter during Bluetongue and Foot and Mouth diseases.
- Principles of Health and Safety at work.
6) (Session 3) Assess risks and apply decision making concerning meat and in particular:
- Legal grounds for declaring meat unfit for human consumption.
- Localized and generalized pathological conditions.
- Acute and chronic pathological conditions.
- Abnormal colours of meat.
- Disposal of Animal-by-Products.
7) (Session 4) Assess animal welfare (AW) compliance at slaughter and in particular:
- Lesions and conditions of AW importance.
- Use of penetrative captive-bolt instruments (including Health and Safety aspects).
- Principles of animal identification (ear-tags).
8) (Session 4) Practice methodology and techniques of PMI of red meat carcasses and in particular:
- Legal requirements for PMI.
- Principles of carcass inspection.
- Visual inspection.
- Palpation.
- Incision (including safe use of knives).
- Principles of pathology relevant to public health.
- Animal welfare lesions.
- Carcass contamination.

At the end of the microbiology laboratory practical sessions students will be able to:
Session 1: Food microbiology (Teaching staff: Ruth Fowler)
-Understand the processes involved in diagnostic food microbiology.
-Perform microbiological diagnostic procedures.
-Analyse and interpret test results.
-To formulate recommendation to be provided with the microbiology test report.

Session 2: Food Labelling and Traceability (Teaching staff: Cristina Soare)
- Describe the legal requirements for food labelling in the UK.
- Identify the information on the food label that is relevant to veterinary public health (e.g. Identification mark, date labelling, preparation technology, British lion Code, etc).
- Identify and explain traceability systems of food products.

Session 3: Contact Zoonoses (Teaching staff: Cristina Soare and Alessandro Seguino)
- Understand the risks posed to human health by contact zoonoses; in particular, the risks to veterinary surgeons, clinic staff, clients and families
- Identify specific risk situations for the spread of selected zoonotic pathogens
- Identify sources of reliable information on zoonotic disease
- Provide recommendations on the prevention and control of zoonotic diseases
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must be enrolled on a BVMS Veterinary Medicine degree programme in order to take this course.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 38, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 9, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 144 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The In-Course Assessment, worth 20% of overall mark, will be given ½ way through the course and consists of:
- 20 MCQs (8%)
- 4 SPOT questions (8%)
- Peerwise: make 3 and answer 3 MCQs (2%)
- Answer 3 Virtual Slaughterhouse Scenarios (2%)

The Degree Examination, worth 80% of overall mark and consists of:
- 8 SPOT questions (40%)
- 40 MCQs and (40%)
Feedback Students will be provided with verbal advice and direct feedback during practical classes.

Students will receive a feedback session based on the results of the in-course assessment. If students wish to have greater feedback they may request to review their paper with the Personal Tutor and if questions remain, the Course Organiser.

Students with queries at any stage in the course are encouraged to bring these to the attention of staff.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Veterinary Public Health Written Examination2:00
Resit Exam Diet (April/May Sem 1 resits only)Veterinary Public Health Written Examination (Resit)2:00
Outwith Standard Exam Diets OctoberVeterinary Public Health In-Course Assessment1:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Veterinary public health issues including zoonoses (C. 38). Describe the aetiology, pathogenesis, clinical signs, diagnosis and post mortem inspection lesions of the common diseases of importance in VPH that occur in the common farm animal species (cattle, poultry, sheep, pigs and fishery products) in the UK (C. 45).
  2. Legislation relating to the welfare (including transport) of animals and notifiable diseases (C. 41 and 45), including the correct procedures to follow after diagnosing notifiable, reportable and zoonotic diseases (C. 45) and of hygiene regulations.
  3. Perform ante mortem inspection of animals destined for the food chain and correctly identify conditions affecting the quality and safety of products of animal origin (C. 37 and 42). How to evaluate objective evidence for decision-making process (C. 13).
  4. Perform a basic gross post mortem examination, record details and make a judgement on fitness of food for human consumption (C. 45). Advise on, and carry out preventive programmes appropriate to the species and commensurate with accepted animal health, welfare and public health standards, seeking advice and assistance where necessary from professional colleagues (C. 43).
  5. Minimise the risks of contamination, cross infection and accumulation of pathogens in the veterinary premises, in the field and in food producing establishments (C. 44). Assess and advise on principles of good hygiene practices and food safety management systems, including food microbiology (C. 45).
Reading List
Other texts on more specialised areas will be indicated during the appropriate lectures.

-Meat Hygiene - Gracey et al. (11th Edition) -
-Practical Meat Inspection - Wilson
-Encyclopaedia of Meat Science - Jensen
-Food Science - Potter
-Meat Science (An Introduction) - Wariss
-Meat Science and Application - Hui
-Integrated Food Safety and Veterinary Public Health - Buncic (2006).

Computer Assisted Learning available via LEARN.

Useful websites: - RCVS - BVA - FSA - DEFRA - DEFRA - Animal Welfare - Farm Animal Welfare Committee - DEFRA - Farm Animal Diseases - Scottish Government Agriculture - European College of VPH - Scotland's Rural College - EFSA - The Vet Record and In Practice - European CDC - MSD Veterinary Manual - NOAH Compendium - IAFP - Codex Alimentarius
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Compliance with accrediting bodies' requirements.
Additional Class Delivery Information 38 hours of lectures
9 hours of practicals
KeywordsVeterinary Public Health,Food Safety,Zoonoses,Food Microbiology,Food Safety Legislation
Course organiserMs Cristina Soare
Tel: (0131 6)51 7451
Course secretaryMiss Ali Humphreys
Tel: 0131 650 6294
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