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Staying ahead of the next disease challenge in Denmark
THE week prior to writ- ing this article, I had the opportunity to par- ticipate in the CPH Pig seminar.
CPH Pig is the ‘Cen- tre for research in pig production and health’ at the University of Copen- hagen, which serves as the platform for greater efforts in national and international research, innovation, regulatory services, training and education.
The centre aims to en- sure collaboration be- tween the university and industry representa- tives such as technology groups, SEGES and au- thorities in order to de- liver research outcomes relevant to industry.
Currently directed by Jens Peter Nielsen, pro- fessor at the Depart- ment of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, the re- search themes are centred around welfare, produc- tion, genetics, health and antimicrobial resistance.
The seminar is a unique opportunity for students, scientists and other spe- cialists within pig pro- duction to acquire know- ledge within pig research and innovation.
Over 160 representa- tives of European pig production attended, representing regulatory
bodies, service providers, feed and pharmaceutical companies, students and researchers.
This year was the sev- enth seminar, with the program including the latest research outcomes on weaning diets, swine influenza, reduction of antibiotic use, improved piglet health, major pig research projects and the one-health consortium – the latter being what I am going to focus on for the rest of the article.
The Danish Veterinary Consortium has very re- cently (January 2020) be- come fully operational, with the beginning of the Consortium starting as a partial implementation in January 2019.
It is a collaboration between the University of Copenhagen and the State Serum Institute for the performance of the
veterinary public ser- vice agreement under the Danish Ministry of Envi- ronment and Food.
Essentially, it has been established to provide research, consultancy services, diagnosis and laboratory analyses in connection with the monitoring and control of about 80 different live- stock diseases.
The Consortium’s pub- lic sector consultancy
includes everything from disease surveillance and handling of specific emergency tasks, includ- ing suspected disease outbreaks to assistance in the form of risk assess- ments, research projects and questions from the Minister.
What makes this col- laboration so interesting is their ‘one health’ ap- proach to the Consortium – meaning they have an ‘integrated preparedness for threats against human or animal health’.
The Danish authorities and research bodies be- lieve the prevention and control of diseases is best done as a collabora- tion between veterinar- ians, medical doctors, biologists and other spe- cialists due to the close interaction between peo- ple, animals, food and
the environment.
The majority of their
research projects look into notifiable diseases, in particular those that would have a significant impact on the Danish economy.
Their research and con- sultancy aim to develop relevant tools to support the Danish Veterinary and Food Administra- tion’s decision-making process with a focus on endemic, exotic and no- tifiable animal diseases – including early warn- ing signs for infections in mammals, poultry and wildlife.
Though Denmark is free from serious infec- tious livestock diseases, the Consortium aims to keep all Danish veteri- narians aware of and able to react to any possibility of the disease presence,
with up-to-date informa- tion provided to the Dan- ish veterinary network as the information becomes available.
The Danish Veterinary Consortium is further- more a part of a large international network and has entered into agree- ments on research and de- velopment projects with a number of the world’s leading laboratories and universities.
Over 20 pig industry re- search projects are under- way at the Consortium, but some of the most rel- evant include:
• African swine fever vaccine development;
• Foot and mouth dis- ease vaccine develop- ment;
• Consequences of con- trol strategies for ASF in the pig and wild boar populations – the influ-
ence of bloodsucking flies, environment and feed;
• The identification and characterisation of antimicrobial resistance of clinical and zoonotic relevance in Danish pig production; and
• Identify viral and host factors that increase the chance of a strain of swine influenza to pro- gress to human replica- tion and transmission (prediction of and prepar- ing for the next ‘H1N1’ outbreak).
Though only at par- tial implementation, the Danish Veterinary Con- sortium has already been successful in its first year – it will be interesting to watch its development and the outcomes of their research, which could have an international in- fluence.
Australian Pork Newspaper, February 2020 – Page 7
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ASF spreading slowly in EU – EFSA report
THE European Food Safety Authority has published its latest annual update on the presence of African swine fever in the Eu- ropean Union.
During the period covered by the re- port (November 2018 to October 2019), Czechia became offi- cially ASF-free.
The disease was, however, confirmed as present in Slovakia, meaning there contin- ues to be nine affected countries in the EU.
In 2019, the area of the EU affected by ASF expanded pro- gressively, moving mainly in a southwest- ern direction.
The report shows all phases of the epidemic are now represented in the EU: areas recently affected following ei- ther an isolated intro- duction or geographic expansion from af- fected areas; affected areas that are expand- ing; areas where ASF infection has been present for some time, including areas where ASF seems to be fad- ing out; and non-af- fected areas.
The situation varies substantially between member states due to multiple influences in- cluding the structure of domestic pig produc- tion (in particular, the proportion of backyard holdings), geographi-
cal conditions and the characteristics of the wild boar population.
Backyard (non-com- mercial) farms present particular challenges for an ASF eradication program, such as un- controlled movements of pigs and people, poor biosecurity and the identification of holdings.
For this year’s report, a case study was con- ducted in Romania to identify the particular factors that contribute to the spread of the disease in these non- commercial holdings.
The report also:
• Describes seasonal fluctuations in the de- tection of ASF-posi- tive samples since the disease was first de- tected in the EU;
• Reviews the meas- ures applied by the af- fected member states for controlling the spread of ASF in wild boar;
• Assesses the effec- tiveness of artificial or natural boundaries in controlling spread, with a particular focus on the combination of control measures that have been applied in Belgium; and
• Based on the latest science and epidemio- logical data, assesses measures for manag- ing wild boar popula- tions in different geo- graphical areas of the EU.

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