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Emerging animal diseases: from science to policy - Favv

Emerging animal diseases: from science to policy - Favv

Theme 2 Management of

Theme 2 Management of emerging animal diseases

EU policy on emerging animal diseases Bernard Van Goethem European Commission, Brussels, Belgium 1. Introduction 1.1. Definition of an emerging disease According to the definition of the OIE Code, an emerging disease “means a new infection resulting from the evolution or change of an existing pathogenic agent, a known infection spreading to a new geographic area or population, or a previously unrecognized pathogenic agent or disease diagnosed for the first time and which has a significant impact on animal or public health.” (OIE, 2008) This definition covers a little more than that of the WHO, which states “An emerging disease is one that has appeared in a population for the first time, or that may have existed previously but is rapidly increasing in incidence or geographic range.” (WHO, 2008). Both definitions cover the so-called re-emerging diseases. 1.2. Some examples of emerging diseases, their causes and impact Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 corresponds to the first part of the OIE definition; Bluetongue serotype 8 to the second; and BSE to the third. These are probably the clearest examples of emerging diseases, which have caused major problems in many EU Member States in recent years. However, there are also other diseases that have emerged or re-emerged in the past decades: • within the EU: African Horse Sickness (AHS, in Spain 1987-90, Portugal 1989-91); African Swine Fever (ASF, in the Iberian peninsula in the sixties, sporadically in other countries in the seventies and eighties and still present in the island of Sardinia); Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP, in France 1980, Portugal 1999); West Nile Fever (WNF; in Italy 1998 and in France 2000) (ADNS, 1984-2007). • in the EU neighbourhood: Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR, in Turkish Thrace in 2006) or again ASF (in the Caucasus in 2007) • or further afield: Rift Valley Fever (RVF in East and West Africa in 2000 and episodically); Crimean Congo Hemor- rhagic Fever in Africa but also very recently found in Turkish Thrace, Nipah virus in south East Asia and Hendra disease in Australia; all these diseases have also a significant impact on public health. (OIE, 2008b) The increasing trend for international exchanges of people and goods, the existence of areas with high animal density, climate change, changes in animal handling and breeding have probably all played a major role in the emergence of certain pathogens in the last decades. 29

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