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Animal health: Norway prepared to handle contagious diseases



Norway's preparedness to handle outbreaks of contagious animal diseases is generally satisfactory. This is the overall conclusion of a report published by the EFTA Surveillance Authority today.

The Authority carried out a mission to Norway in April 2012 to verify that the competent authorities had established contingency plans in line with the European Economic Area legislation for the event of one or more outbreaks of epizootic diseases, with special regard to foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever.

The situation is in general satisfactory, in particular a clear chain of command is in place, legal power in peace time and emergency and financial resources to handle crisis are available. Training has been offered to the staff of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) and they have appropriate field kits to deal with emergency situations. The national reference laboratory has available analytical methods to diagnose foot-and-mouth disease and classical swine fever. Norway demonstrated close cooperation with the other Nordic-Baltic countries, except Russia, and real time exercises have been arranged across the borders.

There is room for improvement, in particular related to:

  • periodical revisions of contingency plans, including practical instructions;
  • cooperation between the NFSA and other authorities at regional level;
  • registration of animal movements;
  • absence of written movement registration for farmed reindeer, which could constitute a serious challenge in tracing contact animals in case  of  a disease outbreak.

The NFSA has taken note of the shortcomings identified, has addressed all of them in its reply to a draft version of the report and has started working on the recommendations contained in the report. The NFSA's reply is annexed to the final report.

Read the final report here.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Trygve Mellvang-Berg
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66
mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

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