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Visschers V.H.M.,ETH Zurich | Backhans A.,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences | Collineau L.,SAFOSO Inc. | Collineau L.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 10 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

We conducted a survey among convenient samples of pig farmers (N= 281) in Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. We identified some significant differences among the five investigated countries (independent variable) regarding farmers' antimicrobial usage compared to their own country and worries related to pig farming (dependent variables), but most of the differences were rather small. In general, farmers perceived their own antimicrobial usage to be lower than that of their peers in the same country and lower than or similar to that of farmers from other countries. This may be a consequence of our convenience sample, resulting in self-selection of highly motivated farmers. Farmers were significantly more worried about financial/legal issues than about antimicrobial resistance. They believed that a reduction in revenues for slaughter pigs treated with a large amount of antimicrobials would have the most impact on reduced antimicrobial usage in their country. Further, farmers who were more worried about antimicrobial resistance and who estimated their own antimicrobial usage as lower than their fellow countrymen, perceived more impact from policy measures on the reduction of antimicrobials. Our results indicated that the same policy measures can be applied to reduce antimicrobial usage in pig farming in all five countries. Moreover, it seems worthwhile to increase pig farmers' awareness of the threat of antimicrobial resistance and its relation to antimicrobial usage; not only because pig farmers appeared little worried about antimicrobial usage but also because it affected farmers' perception of policy measures to reduce antimicrobial usage. Our samples were not representative for the national pig farmer populations. Further research is therefore needed to examine to what extent our findings can be generalised to these populations and to farmers in other countries. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ghent University, SAFOSO Inc. and 3 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Preventive veterinary medicine | Year: 2015

We conducted a survey among convenient samples of pig farmers (N=281) in Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. We identified some significant differences among the five investigated countries (independent variable) regarding farmers antimicrobial usage compared to their own country and worries related to pig farming (dependent variables), but most of the differences were rather small. In general, farmers perceived their own antimicrobial usage to be lower than that of their peers in the same country and lower than or similar to that of farmers from other countries. This may be a consequence of our convenience sample, resulting in self-selection of highly motivated farmers. Farmers were significantly more worried about financial/legal issues than about antimicrobial resistance. They believed that a reduction in revenues for slaughter pigs treated with a large amount of antimicrobials would have the most impact on reduced antimicrobial usage in their country. Further, farmers who were more worried about antimicrobial resistance and who estimated their own antimicrobial usage as lower than their fellow countrymen, perceived more impact from policy measures on the reduction of antimicrobials. Our results indicated that the same policy measures can be applied to reduce antimicrobial usage in pig farming in all five countries. Moreover, it seems worthwhile to increase pig farmers awareness of the threat of antimicrobial resistance and its relation to antimicrobial usage; not only because pig farmers appeared little worried about antimicrobial usage but also because it affected farmers perception of policy measures to reduce antimicrobial usage. Our samples were not representative for the national pig farmer populations. Further research is therefore needed to examine to what extent our findings can be generalised to these populations and to farmers in other countries.


Stark K.D.C.,Royal Veterinary College | Stark K.D.C.,SAFOSO Inc. | Arroyo Kuribrena M.,World Organisation for Animal Health | Dauphin G.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FAO | And 4 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2015

One Health surveillance describes the systematic collection, validation, analysis, interpretation of data and dissemination of information collected on humans, animals and the environment to inform decisions for more effective, evidence- and system-based health interventions. During the second International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance (ICAHS) in Havana, Cuba, a panel discussion was organised to discuss the relevance of One Health in the context of surveillance. A number of success stories were presented which generally focused on the obvious interfaces between human and veterinary medicine such as zoonoses and food safety. Activities aimed at strengthening inter-sectoral networking through technical collaboration, conferences, workshops and consultations have resulted in recommendations to advance the One Health concept. There are also several One Health educational programmes offered as Masters programmes. Continuing challenges to One Health surveillance were identified at both technical as well as organisational level. It was acknowledged that the public health sector and the environmental sector could be engaged more in One Health activities. Legal issues, hurdles to data sharing, unclear responsibilities and structural barriers between ministries prevent integrated action. Policy makers in the health sector often perceive One Health as a veterinary-driven initiative that is not particularly relevant to their priority problems. Whilst some funding schemes allow for the employment of scientists and technicians for research projects, the development of a sustainable One Health workforce has yet to be broadly demonstrated. Funding opportunities do not explicitly promote the development of One Health surveillance systems. In addition, organisational, legal and administrative barriers may prevent operational implementation. Strategies and communication across sectors need to be aligned. Whilst at the technical or local level the formal separation can be bridged, separate funding sources and budgets can jeopardise the overall strategy, especially if funding cuts are later required. To overcome such challenges, a strong business case for One Health surveillance is needed. This should include the costs and benefits of One Health activities or projects including consequences of different strategies as well as risks. Integrated training should also be further promoted. Future ICAHS conferences should continue to provide a platform for discussing surveillance in the One Health context and to provide a forum for surveillance professionals from all relevant sectors to interact. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Hill A.A.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Horigan V.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Clarke K.A.,One Health Veterinary Services | Dewe T.C.M.,Royal Veterinary College | And 3 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2014

The UK Food Standards Agency is currently funding research to build the evidence base for the modernisation of meat inspection. This includes an assessment of the risks to public health and animal health/welfare of moving to a visual-only post-mortem meat inspection (PMMI), where routine mandatory palpation and incision procedures are omitted. In this paper we present the results of a risk assessment for a change from current to visual-only PMMI for cattle, sheep/goats and farmed/wild deer.A large list of hazard/species pairings were assessed and prioritised by a process of hazard identification. Twelve hazard/species pairings were selected for full consideration within the final risk assessment. The results of the public health risk assessment indicated that all hazard/species pairings were Negligible with the exception of Cysticercus bovis in cattle, which was judged to be of low-medium increased risk for systems not conforming to criteria as laid down by EC Regulation 1244/2007, compared to systems that do conform to Regulations for visual-only PMMI.Most hazard/species pairings were concluded to pose a potential increased risk to animal health/welfare, including Mycobacterium bovis (very low - low increase in risk, but with considerable uncertainty), Fasciola hepatica (negligible - very low) and Cysticercus bovis (very low - low). Due to low feedback rates to farmers, the real risk to animal health/welfare for F.hepatica and C.bovis, including animals in non-conforming systems under visual-only PMMI, is probably negligible. That then leaves M.bovis as the only confirmed non-negligible animal health and welfare risk. © 2013.


Stark K.D.C.,SAFOSO Inc. | Stark K.D.C.,Royal Veterinary College | Alonso S.,Royal Veterinary College | Dadios N.,Royal Veterinary College | And 11 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2014

Meat inspection (MI) is one of the most widely implemented and longest running systems of surveillance. It was primarily introduced to identify meat of animals that is not fit for human consumption. Additionally, MI was progressively recognised as a suitable source of data collection and for monitoring a broad spectrum of diseases and conditions concerning animal health and welfare. For Europe, MI tasks are regulated at the European rather than country level and include a set of activities before and after stunning (ante and post mortem inspection) involving visual inspection, palpation and incisions. Over the last decade, the current MI protocol has been challenged because of its low sensitivity for important public health hazards. We aimed to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current MI protocols with primary focus on its utility in the context of animal health - including both notifiable and production diseases - and welfare, i.e. its capacity to detect cases with an aim to quantify the frequency of animal disease and welfare cases. The consequences of an alternative inspection protocol using visual-only inspection were also explored.As a first step, a review of grey and published literature was conducted for a selected number of diseases and welfare conditions in seven species or species groups: swine, poultry, bovines, small ruminants, solipeds and farmed game, represented by red deer, wild boar, rabbits and ostriches. This review highlighted a substantial lack of suitable and accessible published data on the frequency of occurrence of many diseases and conditions affecting food animals in Europe. Additionally, there were very limited data on the detection performance of MI, particularly in relation to specific degrees of severity of clinical signs. Due to the data gaps, a large proportion of input data used in this work was based on expert opinion and general biologic manifestations of the conditions investigated. The probability of case detection was quantified using a scenario tree modelling approach, taking into account the frequency of case presentation and inspection coverage.In general, the performance of MI was highly correlated with the presence of clinical and/or pathological signs in affected animals. Early or subclinical cases were likely to be "non-detectable" at slaughter. Regarding detectable cases, the impact of moving to visual-only inspection was negligible for most notifiable diseases and conditions considered with a few exceptions, primarily detectable cases of tuberculosis. Current MI activities were found to be effective to detect the majority of animal welfare conditions considered by species, predominantly by ante mortem inspection.The effectiveness of MI was also considered for endemic diseases that are not currently subject to systematic control efforts. These included respiratory diseases and parasite infections. It was shown that MI could provide an efficient means of identifying producers in need of animal health advice, provided that information is collected and fed back to veterinarians and livestock farmers. Within an integrated information system, MI could substantially contribute to the control of a considerable range of animal health and welfare issues. Data already collected need to be made available for on-farm decision making. It was also noted that if the slaughter population is strongly affected by international trade, i.e. where a large proportion of animals originate from one country and are slaughtered in another, the usefulness of MI for endemic disease surveillance will be affected by either reduced coverage or bias or both.In conclusion, our results indicate that while ante mortem inspection remains essential for the detection of animal welfare conditions, a move to visual-only post mortem inspection has - for the diseases and conditions considered - negligible negative impact on disease control. However in countries or regions that are not free of TB, special relevance of palpation and cutting of lymph nodes will have to be considered. MI information has considerable potential to inform disease control efforts, but only few countries use it systematically limiting the actual benefit that is achieved by these data. Finally, MI can also provide "back-up" surveillance in a situation where other means of detection fail and may represent the sole means of case detection for certain infections (e.g. liver fluke or cestodes). © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Blagojevic B.,University of Novi Sad | Dadios N.,Lane College | Reinmann K.,SAFOSO Inc. | Guitian J.,Lane College | And 2 more authors.
Research in Veterinary Science | Year: 2015

The changes in detection of selected public and animal health as well as welfare hazards due to the change in current inspection of green offal in cattle, small ruminants and pigs were assessed. With respect to public health and animal health, the conditional likelihood of detection with the current green offal inspection was found to be low for eleven out of the twenty-four selected hazard-species pairings and very low for the remaining thirteen pairings. This strongly suggests that the contribution of current green offal inspection to risk mitigation is very limited for public and animal health hazards. The removal of green offal inspection would reduce the detection of some selected animal welfare conditions. For all selected public and animal health as well as welfare hazards, the reduced detection could be compensated with other pre-harvest, harvest and/or post-harvest control measures including existing meat inspection tasks. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Huneau-Salaun A.,Ploufragan Plouzane Laboratory | Stark K.D.C.,SAFOSO Inc. | Stark K.D.C.,Royal Veterinary College | Mateus A.,SAFOSO Inc. | And 4 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2015

In the European Union, Meat Inspection (MI) aims to protect public health by ensuring that minimal hazardous material enters in the food chain. It also contributes to the detection and monitoring of animal diseases and welfare problems but its utility for animal surveillance has been assessed partially for some diseases only. Using the example of poultry production, we propose a complete assessment of MI as a health surveillance system. MI allows a long-term syndromic surveillance of poultry health but its contribution is lowered by a lack of data standardization, analysis and reporting. In addition, the probability of case detection for 20 diseases and welfare conditions was quantified using a scenario tree modelling approach, with input data based on literature and expert opinion. The sensitivity of MI appeared to be very high to detect most of the conditions studied because MI is performed at batch level and applied to a high number of birds per batch. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014.


Reist M.,University of Bern | Jemmi T.,Federal Veterinary Office | Stark K.D.C.,SAFOSO Inc. | Stark K.D.C.,Lane College
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2012

Animal health and residue surveillance verifies the good health status of the animal population, thereby supporting international free trade of animals and animal products. However, active surveillance is costly and time-consuming. The development of cost-effective tools for animal health and food hazard surveillance is therefore a priority for decision-makers in the field of veterinary public health. The assumption of this paper is that outcome-based formulation of standards, legislation leaving room for risk-based approaches and close collaboration and a mutual understanding and exchange between scientists and policy makers are essential for cost-effective surveillance. We illustrate this using the following examples: (i) a risk-based sample size calculation for surveys to substantiate freedom from diseases/infection, (ii) a cost-effective national surveillance system for Bluetongue using scenario tree modelling and (iii) a framework for risk-based residue monitoring. Surveys to substantiate freedom from infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and enzootic bovine leucosis between 2002 and 2009 saved over 6 million € by applying a risk-based sample size calculation approach, and by taking into account prior information from repeated surveys. An open, progressive policy making process stimulates research and science to develop risk-based and cost-efficient survey methodologies. Early involvement of policy makers in scientific developments facilitates implementation of new findings and full exploitation of benefits for producers and consumers. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Friedrich Loeffler Institute, Economics and Public Health Group, SAFOSO Inc., State Research Institution National Research Institute for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology of Russia and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Transboundary and emerging diseases | Year: 2016

This study investigated the attitudes and beliefs of pig farmers and hunters in Germany, Bulgaria and the western part of the Russian Federation towards reporting suspected cases of African swine fever (ASF). Data were collected using a web-based questionnaire survey targeting pig farmers and hunters in these three study areas. Separate multivariable logistic regression models identified key variables associated with each of the three binary outcome variables whether or not farmers would immediately report suspected cases of ASF, whether or not hunters would submit samples from hunted wild boar for diagnostic testing and whether or not hunters would report wild boar carcasses. The results showed that farmers who would not immediately report suspected cases of ASF are more likely to believe that their reputation in the local community would be adversely affected if they were to report it, that they can control the outbreak themselves without the involvement of veterinary services and that laboratory confirmation would take too long. The modelling also indicated that hunters who did not usually submit samples of their harvested wild boar for ASF diagnosis, and hunters who did not report wild boar carcasses are more likely to justify their behaviour through a lack of awareness of the possibility of reporting. These findings emphasize the need to develop more effective communication strategies targeted at pig farmers and hunters about the disease, its epidemiology, consequences and control methods, to increase the likelihood of early reporting, especially in the Russian Federation where the virus circulates.


PubMed | University of Novi Sad, SAFOSO Inc. and Lane College
Type: | Journal: Research in veterinary science | Year: 2015

The changes in detection of selected public and animal health as well as welfare hazards due to the change in current inspection of green offal in cattle, small ruminants and pigs were assessed. With respect to public health and animal health, the conditional likelihood of detection with the current green offal inspection was found to be low for eleven out of the twenty-four selected hazard-species pairings and very low for the remaining thirteen pairings. This strongly suggests that the contribution of current green offal inspection to risk mitigation is very limited for public and animal health hazards. The removal of green offal inspection would reduce the detection of some selected animal welfare conditions. For all selected public and animal health as well as welfare hazards, the reduced detection could be compensated with other pre-harvest, harvest and/or post-harvest control measures including existing meat inspection tasks.

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