Veterinary training plays a crucial role in increasing effectiveness of veterinary response to epidemic and non-epidemic emergencies. Being able to assess learning needs and to deliver training is acknowledged as a strategic priority in veterinary public health activities. The validation of an e-learning system that is able to respond to the urgent needs of veterinary professionals to ensure the despatch of rapid teaching methods on emerging and re-emerging animal diseases and zoonoses was the core of a research project developed in the Mediterranean Basin between 2005 and 2009. The project validated a new transferable, sustainable and repeatable learning model, the main components of which are described. The model is applied to an emergency situation that occurred in Italy in 2008, when West Nile disease outbreaks were reported in northern Italy. Approximately 450 official veterinarians were trained, using an e-learning system that showed adaptability and effectiveness in transferring knowledge, skills and competence to face the situation. The case was used to validate the effectiveness of the model and proved that it can be applied in any emergency situation, i.e. every time that rapid dissemination of knowledge and skills is required.