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EFSA: Risk assessment of African swine fever in the south‐eastern countries of Europe

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The assessment estimates the potential for the disease to spread across south-eastern Europe. EFSA evaluated the possibility of spread among nine disease-free countries – Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia.
EFSA concludes that the chances of the disease spreading among these countries within one year of introduction are very high (66-100%). However, the chances of the disease spreading west into other EU Member States within the same time frame are rated as very low (0-15%).
According to EFSA early detection and preparedness is key to controlling spread of the disease. In particular, EFSA recommends:

– Rigorous surveillance, especially surveillance of wild boar and domestic pigs, which remains the most effective means for early detection of African swine fever.
– Measures to limit access of wild boar to food and further reduce boar numbers through hunting.
– Awareness campaigns for travellers, hunters, farmers etc. to limit the risk of spread via movement of people, as well as to assist with early detection.
– Communication and collaboration among national authorities and stakeholders to support awareness campaigns.
– Training activities for veterinary officers, other relevant bodies and hunters to increase the probability of early detection and effective control.

For more information see: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5861

EFSA: Poultry welfare at slaughter: hazards identified and measures proposed

Animal WelfarePoultry

Recently EFSA has proposed measures to address the animal welfare hazards most commonly observed during the slaughter of poultry for food production and disease control. A comprehensive overview covers the entire slaughter process from arrival and unloading of birds through stunning to bleeding and killing. It identifies a number of hazards that give rise to welfare issues – such as pain, thirst, hunger or restricted movement – and proposes preventive and corrective measures where possible. Most of the hazards are the result of staff failings e.g. lack of training and skilled personnel. EFSA’s advice highlights the importance of staff being adequately trained in the different phases of slaughter and for clear identification of roles and responsibilities.

The new scientific opinions are the first in a series of updates on welfare of animals at slaughter requested by the European Commission. EFSA will publish further opinions in 2020 on pigs (March), cattle (June), and other species (December).

The reports are available at:
https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5849
https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5850

Updated list of all fish medicines and vaccines registered in EU

Animal HealthAquatic Animals

The FishMedPlus Coalition disseminates an updated list of all fish medicines and vaccines registered in European Union. FishMedPlus is a coalition aiming for the increase of availability of authorised treatments and vaccines usable in aquaculture. Limited availability of treatments and prevention tools is a serious constraint on the health management in fish farming. The coalition solicited the EU legislator to assess the current availability of drugs and vaccines registered in aquaculture and for ornamental fish at the moment, and The Co-ordination group for Mutual recognition and Decentralised procedures – human (CMDh) took charge of the task.
304 different veterinary medicinal products are authorised for fish, against 10.000 for dogs and 8.000 for cattle. Half of them are vaccines, followed by antibiotics, representing the 29% of the treatments. Half of veterinary medicinal products are aimed to atlantic salmon and trouts (respectively 31% and 20%), while the 16% of them are directed towards a general category of fish.
It is possible to download the list here: http://www.hma.eu/584.html. More info here: https://www.fve.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/FishMedPlus-Newsletter-February-2019-1.pdf.

Strategies for eliminating lumpy skin disease report by EFSA lately published

Animal HealthBeef CattleECIP (Dairy Cattle)Epidemiology

A report about the most effective strategies for eliminating lumpy skin disease (LSD) has been recently published by EFSA.

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) has recently been contained into the Balkan region showing a drop of number of diseases outbrakes by 95 percent from 2016 to 2017. The recomendation by the Standing Group of Experts to the countries in South-East Europe to collaborate with the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Diseases in order to draft a roadmap on a LSD exit strategy from 2018 onwards has provoked EFSA to assess the epidemiology and the effectiveness of different surveillance systems of LSD.

By using a spread epidemiological model, the report shows that only two years are sufficient to eliminate LSD virus from a territory, assuming a vaccination effectiveness of 80% and the coverage of 90% of herds, while 4 and 3 years of vaccination campaigns are needed assuming a vaccination effectiveness of 65% with 50% and 90% of herd coverage respectevly.

The report underlines the need of monitoring a large number of herds to detect the disease promptly.

EFSA suggests to cover important research gaps about the transmission of disease, duration of protective immunity, influence of vectors, dignostic tests and epidemiological status of bordering countries.

The document can be dowloaded here: https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5452