SAVSNET, short for Small Animal Veterinary Surveillance Network, was established in 2008 as an initiative from the British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the University of Liverpool. Currently, it is solely run by the latter, with funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Its purpose is to harness electronic health and environmental data for rapid and actionable research and surveillance, with ‘antimicrobial resistance’ and ‘infection and zoonosis’ two of the research priorities. It is a voluntary, ‘continuous’ system, collecting practice data (animals visiting + diagnostic samples) from currently approx. 10% of UK vet practices based on convenience. Veterinary practices are contacted by SAVSNET to ask if they want to take part.

Data collection

Animal (sub)categories: Companion animals including dogs, cats, rabbits, small rodents, avians, amphibians and reptiles; all age/weight categories.

Input: In the SAVSNET-Vet module of SAVSNET, data are collected near-real-time from animal’s electronic health records when they are seen at participating veterinary practices for a consultation. Owners can opt out on a consult-by-consult basis by simply telling their veterinary surgeon or nurse in the consultation. Electronic health record data is automatically extracted from the animal's health record and submitted to SAVSNET through a window that appears at the end of each consultation, and includes age, sex, breed, neuter status and also treatments, the latter being the source for the antimicrobial usage data (often including dosage levels). Also weight history of the animals is often included (weight + date recorded). In addition, the veterinary surgeon or nurse is asked to choose a main reason (syndrome) for the animal to be brought to the veterinary practice.  


As dosage data are not mandatory, these data are not currently used. Outputs are currently presence or absence of prescription. Also use related to specific syndromes is looked at.

Benchmarking and reporting

Veterinary practices are benchmarked in comparison to other anonymised practices. No limits / targets are applied. Practices can consult their results through the secure online portal.

More information

Visit the SAVSNET-website.