Outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in poultry have been increasing since December 2004, mainly in South-East Asia. In 2005 the disease spread to other parts of the world including Africa and the new EU Member States and candidate countries.
In spite of action in the EU, attempts by the international community to help control and eradicate HPAI have been of limited success and it has apparently become endemic in some countries. The number of human cases has also risen, hence the fear of a pandemic.
Against this background, contingency plans must be implemented. The Commission aims to support affected countries by the secondment of experts to collaborate with the competent authorities in establishing contingency plans, and the organisation of training workshops.
How many events are taking place?
The programme comprises two actions:
- Nine sustained training and assistance missions, each of six weeks in total, split into two blocks, to Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
- Three, three-day laboratory workshops.
Who are the activities aimed at?
The activities are aimed at competent authority personnel of the aforementioned countries involved in food safety and animal health controls. The laboratory workshops are open to about 20 participants each. One workshop is for participants from Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, one is for participants from Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria, and one is for participants from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
What topics are covered?
The sustained training and assistance missions will help establish contingency plans in the aforementioned countries, within the framework of the FAO/OIE Global Strategy for the Progressive Control of HPAI. The work should be undertaken in close collaboration with the competent authorities and relevant international organisations.
The workshops aim to provide training in state of the art virological and serological methods of diagnosis, and may cover the following issues:
- The plans should identify practical measures for surveillance and disease control in poultry, including movement control, stamping out, disinfection, market control, compensation policies, vaccination strategies and zoning and regionalisation.
- Where possible, assistance in the implementation of these plans should be offered.
- Technical assistance may be provided in epidemiology and identification of the virus sources.
- The experts should give advice on related issues, as requested by the host.
- The role of laboratory diagnostics in HPAI control;
- Laboratory capacity and equipment;
- Virological and serological methods to be used within a disease control project;
- DIVA (Differentiating Infected from Vaccinated Animals) vaccination strategy to distinguish infected and vaccinated animals.
When and where are the actions taking place?
One sustained training and assistance mission takes to each of Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
The three workshops take place in Oldenburg in Germany on the following dates:
- The first three-week block of missions is scheduled for May/June.
- The second three-week block of missions is scheduled for August/September.
- 9-11 May for participants from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar;
- 14-16 May for participants from Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey;
- 23-25 May for participants from Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria.
How do I participate?
Anyone interested in taking part in the laboratory workshops should contact their relevant national competent authority. In the case of the new Member States and candidate country, the national competent authority proposes participants to the designated Better Training for Safer Food National Contact Point. The National Contact Point sends the list of participants to the contractor, who submits it to the Commission for approval. In the case of third countries, the national competent authority proposes participants directly to the contractor. The contractor then sends the list of participants to the Commission for final approval.
The list of Better Training for Safer Food National Contact Points can be found at:
Who has been awarded the contract for arranging the training?
The European Training Platform for Safer Food (TrainSaferFood)
Further information on the programme can be found at: