Scientific Committee on Animal Health
and Animal Welfare
of the meeting of the Scientific Committee on Animal Health
and Animal Welfare held on 25 October 2000 in Brussels
adopted 19 January 2001
List of Participants
Dr. R. Ahl, Dr. D. Alexander, Prof. J.
Badiola Diez, Prof. D. Broom, Dr. F. Garrido-Abellan
(Chairman), Dr. M. Gunn, Prof. Dr. J. Hartung, Dr. P. Le
Neindre, Prof. Dr. V. Moennig, Prof. G. Panina, Prof. A-L.
Parodi, Prof. Dr. J. van Oirschot, Dr. E.
Dr. J. Moynagh
Prof. S. Alexandersen, Dr. R. Dantzer,
Prof. P. Jensen, Dr. D. B. Morton, Prof. J. Noordhuizen,
1. Adoption of the Agenda
The agenda was adopted as
2. Adoption of the record of the meeting of 27 June
The minutes of the meeting were adopted
with a few minor amendments.
3. Declarations of interest
No member reported any conflicts of
interest relating to the items under discussion.
4. Report from the Subcommittee on Animal Welfare (Dr
The subcommittee on Animal Welfare met
on 26 September 2000. At this meeting progress was reviewed
in the two major reports that are currently underway, the
welfare of animals kept for fur production and the welfare
of beef cattle. Considerable progress had been made in both
reports but about three months work remained in each.
Consequently it is likely that the reports would be ready
in the early part of next year, which is on
For fur animals the working group have
amassed considerable information on these species and the
farming practices and welfare issues involved. In all, six
species are being reported on.
The beef cattle report is at a similar
stage. Unlike more intensive systems such as broiler
production, there is a wide variation in farming methods
throughout the EU depending on climate, topography and
tradition. The list of welfare problems identified was
circulated and discussed.
A new question concerning transport of
animals was discussed. The Committee has been asked to
report on animal transport in general. In particular the
following issues should be addressed: loading densities,
travelling times (including an evaluation of the stress
involved in unloading and reloading animals), welfare of
animals on board roll-on roll-off vessels, transport of
horses, methods for evaluating stress and poor welfare
during transport. This will be a major report.
Risk analysis working group
The Chairman reported on the working
group of the Scientific Steering Committee dealing with the
harmonisation of Risk Assessment methods. A text setting
out the scientific basis for assessing animal welfare was
discussed with a view to its inclusion in the working
document which is being prepared by the SSC group. It was
noted that all disciplines had developed risk assessment
methodologies which agreed on the basic principles but
which were then adapted to suit the specific needs of the
The subcommittee also discussed its
output and noted that it had the capacity to respond to
additional questions, if required by the Commission. In
particular, questions outside the usual areas of farm
animal welfare could be usefully addressed:
welfare of laboratory animals (use of
primates in research, training of workers, reuse of
welfare of pet animals (dangerous
dogs, selection of genetic defects),
welfare of new farm animals
welfare of transgenic animals in
laboratories and in production units.
5. Report from the Subcommittee on Animal Health (Dr.
A meeting of the subcommittee was held
on 27 September. Three items were discussed, two of which
concerned reports for approval by the subcommittee and one
was a progress report. The subcommittee approved both
reports, concerning the inactivation of viruses in blood
and concerning the use of marker vaccination against BHV1,
the virus causing Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis. The
Scientific Veterinary Committee had produced a report on
this subject in 1996 but had concluded that more
information was likely to become available, hence the
request for this subject to be revisited.
The subcommittee also reviewed a draft
report on the eradication of
Brucella melitensis. This is a detailed
comprehensive report and is the most advanced report
remaining with the subcommittee. Some finalisation work is
required but it should be ready for presentation to the new
Two other working groups have also been
established, one dealing with the risks of recycling
disease agents in fish farming via fish waste and the other
with diagnostic tests for Contagious Bovine
6.1 Discussion and possible adoption by the Committee
of a report on the use of vaccination against Bovine
Herpesvirus 1. (Rapporteur Dr E. Vanopdenbosch)
This report was an update of a report
adopted by the Scientific Veterinary Committee in 1996.
Since then new research results had become available but
several of the concerns had not yet been resolved.
As requested by the Commission, the
report considered the types of marker vaccine, their
efficacy and safety, the risks of latency and reactivation,
the sensitivity and specificity of the accompanying
diagnostic tests and the risks posed by the possibility of
the existence of seronegative latent carrier animals. The
report also identified areas for future research.
Following discussion and a number of
amendments the report was adopted unanimously by the
6.2 Discussion and possible adoption by the Committee
of a report on the inctivation of viruses in blood and
blood products. (Rapporteur Prof. J. Van Oirschot)
This report reviewed the agents that can
be present in blood and blood products and which could
present a risk of spreading serious transmissible diseases.
A particular concern arises from blood and blood products,
particularly foetal calf serum, which are used in the
pharmaceutical industry or as laboratory reagents. Such
products are valued for their cellular growth properties,
but however are destroyed treatments which would be
necessary to sterilise the product.
Current EC legislative requirements,
which require that product treatment methods be
demonstrated to inactivate five serious viruses, do not
seem to be most appropriate as only RNA viruses are
included in the list.
The report recommends that inactivation
methods be validated using representatives from the various
virus families. Ideally, such inactivation methods should
be verifiable. However further research is required to
develop safe replacements for cell culture supplements
which is the long term solution.
Following discussion and minor
amendments, the report was adopted unanimously by the
As this was the final meeting of the
current mandate, the Commission presented a review of the
various reports that had been adopted by the committee
during this mandate. In all a total of 21 reports had been
adopted, many of which were large documents dealing with
very complex issues. All members were to be complemented
both for their generous scientific input to the Committee
and also for the excellent working relationship within the
The meeting closed at 17.00h
Scientific Committee on Animal
Health and Animal Welfare
Outcome of discussions
FOOD SAFETY |
GENERAL "HEALTH & CONSUMER PROTECTION"