Animal health: a common way forward on emergency preparedness

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad) i, gepubliceerd op vrijdag 30 juni 2017.

On 23 June 2017 the Chief veterinary officers from the 28 EU member states agreed on a common way forward on emergency preparedness for transmissible animal diseases in the EU, during a working party of the Council of the EU in Malta.

The common way forward on emergency preparedness provides a number of elements aimed at strengthening common action in areas such as early warning systems and risk assessment, with the aim of improving the capacity in the EU to predict, prevent and respond to transboundary animal diseases.

Emergency preparedness in animal and plant health is one of the priorities of the Maltese presidency of the EU.

In recent years outbreaks of highly contagious transboundary animal diseases, such as African swine fever, lumpy skin disease, blue tongue, and avian flu, have had a significant impact on European livestock farming, as well as movement and trade of animals and animal products from the affected areas. The outbreak and spread of these devastating diseases have also highlighted the importance of good coordination among EU member states and neighbouring countries in order to limit the associated damages.

Building on this awareness and the experience gained by the member states, the Maltese presidency carried out a programme with the Chief Veterinary Officers which, based on surveys and structured discussions, identifies ways to further improve the EU's level of preparedness.

The common way forward is organised to reflect the priority areas that could be improved to better prevent and face crises in the future. These were in decreasing order of priority

  • 1. 
    early warning systems
  • 2. 
    risk assessment
  • 3. 
    awareness among stakeholders
  • 4. 
    contingency plans and operational manuals
  • 5. 
  • 6. 
    networking between member states
  • 7. 
    antigen/vaccine banks
  • 8. 
    animal disease spread modelling
  • 9. 
    self-assessment and simulation exercises
  • 10. 
    public-private partnership
  • 11. 
    mutual assistance between member states