Scenario planning: The future of the cattle and sheep industries in Scotland and their resiliency to disease

Preventative Veterinary Medicine

In this paper, we present a description of foresighting activities undertaken by EPIC, Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks, to investigate the future uncertainty of animal health security in the Scottish sheep and cattle sectors. Using scenario planning methodologies, we explored four plausible but provocative long-term futures which identify dynamics underpinning the resilience of these agricultural sectors to animal disease. These scenarios highlight a number of important drivers that influence disease resilience: industry demographics, the role of government support and regulation and the capacity for technological innovation to support the industry to meet local and global market demand. Participants in the scenario planning exercises proposed creative, robust strategies that policy makers could consider implementing now to enhance disease control and industry resilience in multiple, uncertain futures. Using these participant-led strategies as a starting point, we offer ten key questions for policy makers and stakeholders to provoke further discussion about improving resiliency and disease preparedness. We conclude with a brief discussion of the value of scenario planning, not only for the development of futures which will inform disease contingency plans and improve industry resilience, but as a mechanism for dialogue and information sharing between stakeholders and government.

• Scenario planning workshops on cattle and sheep sectors.
• Created opportunities for Scottish farming stakeholders to build strategic partnerships through discussion about important drivers of change.
• Drivers of change included government regulation, industry prioritisation, technological innovation, consumer demand.
• Explores long-term impact of industry characteristics on future disease risk.
• Proposes strategies to address future resiliency to disease.

Scenario Planning Reports

Lisa Boden

Prof. Lisa Boden

Professor of Population Medicine and Veterinary Public Health Policy,

Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security

Carol Kyle 2020

Carol Kyle

Social Scientist,

Iain Mckendrick 20240215 Col2

Prof. Iain McKendrick

EPIC Co-Director,