A strategy to forestall animal disease emergencies is under consideration by the government.
A consultation on a new Animal Health and Welfare Strategy has been launched by DEFRA, the Scottish Executive, and the Welsh Assembly.
By 2012, it aims to achieve consistently high standards of animal health and welfare; improved public health; a better informed and more effective livestock industry; and professional veterinary services which are pro-active and joined-up with government.
Ross Finnie, Scottish minister for environment and rural development, said: "We have seen only too clearly the devastation animal diseases can have. The aim is to build a shared vision with stakeholders and a commitment to developing a sustainable future for animal health and welfare."
A three-month consultation will take the draft vision to meetings around Britain. The strategy will be published in the spring.