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National Surveillance Unit

The National Surveillance Unit (NSU) is the coordinating entity for activities related to U.S. animal health surveillance. The NSU develops and enhances animal health surveillance through evaluation, design, analysis, prioritization, and integration.

About the NSU

The National Surveillance Unit (NSU) was established by Veterinary Services in 2003 to coordinate activities related to U.S. animal health surveillance; to focus on surveillance evaluation, integration, and enhancement; and to address the recommendations regarding surveillance in the 2001 Animal Health Safeguarding Review. The NSU is the first unit within VS with personnel devoted solely to surveillance and surveillance enhancement.

The NSU develops and enhances national animal health surveillance through evaluation, design, analysis, prioritization and integration. Specific responsibilities are to:

  • Coordinate and integrate surveillance activities to maximize the efficiency of national animal health surveillance;
  • Lead the planning and design of surveillance strategies and make recommendations to implement these strategies;
  • Work with the National Center for Animal Health Programs (NCAHP) and the Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health (CEAH) to enhance surveillance of program diseases*, foreign animal diseases, and emerging animal diseases;
  • Provide a focal point for the collection, analysis and dissemination of surveillance information for the purposes of action planning and risk analysis, both domestic and international;
  • Evaluate the overall efficacy of the National Animal Health Surveillance System and specific surveillance tools, and
  • Develop collaborations, both within and outside of Veterinary Services, necessary to carry out elements of this charge

Successful partnerships and collaborations are essential to the NSU's success, and the Unit is committed to serving its partners within Veterinary Services and collaborating with agencies outside of APHIS to enhance U.S. animal health surveillance initiatives.

The NSU is committed to (1) demonstrating scientific and professional integrity, (2) providing efficient, flexible and responsive service, (3) respecting each other, our partners and our customers; and (4) fostering a culture of freedom within a framework.

National Animal Health Surveillance System

The National Animal Health Surveillance System (NAHSS) integrates animal health monitoring programs and surveillance activities into a comprehensive and coordinated system. The NSU coordinates, implements, and disseminates information about the NAHSS. More about the NAHSS.

National Animal Health Reporting System

The National Animal Health Reporting System (NAHRS) provides accurate data on the status of animal diseases in U.S. livestock, poultry, and aquaculture species to maintain and expand existing trade markets. More about the NAHRS.



Additional Information