SAVSNET (The Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network) is a national research network administered by the University of Liverpool. The project collects vast amounts of anonymised data from veterinary consultations, pathology laboratories and other research centres to build up a picture of disease incidence and prevalence around the country. The project has been running since 2008 and has already produced important data demonstrating the seasonality of some diseases and their distribution around the country.
The project is compliant with the current General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). As owners, the only part of your personal information that is utilised is the postcode. Software has been developed that will recognise single property postcodes and reduce them to the area code only, ie EX20 1EU would be reduced to EX20 only.
Your pet will only be identified by its ‘signalment’ a phrase encompassing age, sex, breed, neuter status and so on. Your pets name will not be used.
A vital part of scientific research is ensuring you have sufficient statistical power, this means that that you have enough bits of data to prove your evidence is not only true, but believable and not just down to chance. For example if I flipped a coin twice and got heads both times then you could reasonably announce that the likelihood of flipping a head was 100%! True but not believable. However if you flipped the coin 1000 times you would get much closer to the 50% heads 50% tails result we would expect, true and believable. This simple explanation applies to all research, the more data you have, the more believable, and reliable your findings.
By joining SAVSNET Okeford Veterinary Centre and the other practices of the CVS group are contributing to potentially vital research into disease. The project also enables us, as practising vets, to monitor areas like antibiotic usage and compare our practice data to that of the general veterinary profession.
Have a look at the reception booklet and posters for more information and if you have any queries about this exciting project then don’t hesitate to ask. If you feel you don’t want your consultation to be included in the research then just tell the vet and they will remove your consultation from the project. You can also find more information here.