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Development of prevention and control strategies to address animal health and related problems in densely populated livestock areas of the EU

Contract nr: FAIR-CT97-3566
Project nr: 3566
Project type: SC
Starting date: 01/04/1998
Duration: 42 months
Total cost: 1,285,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,285,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Isabel MINGUEZ-TUDELA
Research topic: Animal health

Densely populated livestock areas have developed because they have considerable economic advantages. Their development gives rise, however, to an increased risk of the introduction and further spread of notifiable animal diseases. Epidemics in recent years (e.g. Classical Swine Fever) have proved to be difficult and expensive to control. The cost of dealing with these problems is placing increasingly heavy financial burdens on the commercial and public sector.

The main objective of this project is to develop methods to identify these densely populated livestock areas, and to develop and test the tools necessary to reduce the risk and help solve problems in such areas. The project intends to support policy-making by providing a quantitative insight into four key questions.

1) Which areas of the Community are densely populated livestock areas?
2) What are the risk factors for the introduction of notifiable diseases into these areas?
3) What are the risk factors for the further spread of notifiable diseases in these areas?
4) What specific prevention and control strategies for notifiable diseases are possible, and what are the costs and benefits?

These questions have recently been raised and discussed in a Commission workshop and by the Scientific Veterinary Committee (SVC). Several participants in the underlying project proposal took part in these discussions, and the proposed project coordinator was the principal organiser of the workshop and also chaired the special sub-group setup by the SVC.

It is our intention to work along the lines set by these activities, by working on four tasks:

1) development and standardisation of data and methods to identify densely populated livestock areas;
2) quantification and classification of the disease risk level of such areas;
3) analysis of actual disease outbreaks, to test and redefine the riskiness parameters;
4) post-benefit analysis of disease prevention and control strategies in such areas.

Scientists from five EU Member States (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands) will cooperate in the project. All members have been working in the research field in question for several years. The most important technical deliverables (freely available to all Member States) from the project are:

1) a computerised toolbox for the identification and analysis of densely populated livestock areas;
2) a method to rank densely populated livestock areas according to risk;
3) an integrated modelling approach for the evaluation of prevention and control strategies of notifiable diseases in densely populated livestock areas.

The completion of the project should make it possible to identify areas in the EU which are characterised by very high risk of introduction and further spread of major animal diseases. The results should enable the EU to stimulate measures that reduce the risk, and to decide what means should be used in particular areas to reduce the cost of an outbreak. Reduced risk and better control strategies will help to make measures redundant that are very costly and no longer accepted by the public, such as the stamping out of a large number of herds which do not show any signs of an infection.

Wageningen University
Hollandseweg 1
NL-6700 KN Wageningen
Tel.: +31 317 48 40 65
Fax: +31 317 48 2745


  • Hans-Wilhelm WINDHORST
    University of Vechta
    (University of the Bundeslandlower Saxony)
    Driverstrasse 22
    D-49377 Vechta
    Tel.: +49 444 11 53 48
    Fax: +49 444 11 54 45

    Ministerie van Middenstand en Landbouw
    Maria-Theresiastraat 1
    B-1000 Brussel
    Tel.: +32 2 211 06 70
    Fax: +32 2 211 06 88

  • Francois MOUTOU
    CNEVA - Centre National d'Etudes Véterinaires et Alimentaires - EPA
    Avenue du Général De Gaulle 23
    F-94701 Maisons-Alfort
    Tel.: +33 1 49 77 13 33
    Fax: +33 1 43 68 97 62

  • Stefano MARANGON
    Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentalendellevenezie
    Via Romea 14a
    I-35020 Legnaro Padova
    Tel.: +39 04 98 08 42 55
    Fax: +39 04 98 83 02 68

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