Farmed animal surveillance services

The University of Surrey’s School of Veterinary Medicine provides a post-mortem examination (PME) service for farmed livestock, in state-of-the-art, purpose built facilities. 

This service is delivered by a veterinary investigation officer who has received extensive training in farm animal pathology, supported by a team of board-certified veterinary pathologists. They are supported by a team of skilled technicians.

What are the benefits?

  • A PME is often the only way to identify the presence of one or more concurrent diseases and to confirm the cause(s) of sudden death. This knowledge allows the rest of the herd or flock to be appropriately managed and/or treated.
  • When diseases result in similar or vague signs of illness, a PME may be the only way to differentiate between them.
  • Samples provided after death can provide valuable information about the deceased animal and surviving members of the group.
  • Farm productivity can be improved by PME-informed treatment and management.
  • Surveillance activities enable us to monitor existing (endemic) as well as detecting new and emerging (exotic) diseases. This protects individual animals, farms and the national herd and flock.

For further information read the Vet Times article: Farm animal pathology and disease surveillance and new era.

How does the service operate?

The referring vet calls the Veterinary Pathology Centre at the University of Surrey and provides the essential details of the case to the on-duty vet.


Carcases will only be accepted for PME if the animal:

  • Has died within the last 48 hours (please contact us if otherwise)
  • Is delivered to the University’s PME facility directly or using a carcase delivery service (if available). To check if eligible for free carcase collection service, us the APHA postcode search tool.
  • In many cases farm animal PMEs and additional testing are subsidised by APHA, however please contact us to check before submitting
  • For cases which are not eligible for APHA subsidy, the full cost of the PME and additional testing will be passed onto the submitting vet.


See our surveillance post mortem prices.

What are the hours of service?

Between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Carcases arriving after 3pm may be kept in cold storage overnight, with a view to conducting the PME the following morning.

In line with our operating procedures, any data concerning the animal owner will remain confidential. Data will be held by the University of Surrey and will not be shared without full consent. If a notifiable disease is suspected, the School of Veterinary Medicine has a legal requirement to report this to Defra.

How to find us

For delivery directions download our printable map.

If using a Sat Nav, please follow postcode: GU2 7YW and do not turn left at the traffic lights after leaving the A3.

Submission form

(638.0 KB .PDF)

Surveillance price list

(488.0 KB .PDF)

Farmer information leaflet

(2.0 MB .PDF)