Important legal notice
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Animal health and welfare
Animal health and welfare - Improving animal diets and well-being
"To prevent devastating epizootic diseases in poultry through the development of a science-based Decision Support System"

The problem

Despite a comprehensive EU approach to combating epizootic livestock diseases, some outbreaks still have devastating impacts. An epizootic of avian influenza (AI) in the Netherlands, in 2003, led to the slaughter of around 30 million birds, for example, while its occurrence in Italy (1999-2003) also caused serious economic losses. An understanding of key risk factors (e.g. trade between Member States and bird migration) would aid in disease prevention. There is a need for improved science-based measures and strategies at the Union level to control AI and other poultry diseases.

HEALTHY POULTRY  Keeping European poultry disease-free


HEALTHY POULTRY is a multi-disciplinary project that addresses the need for an integrated approach to improve poultry disease control strategies. The project will:

  • Develop methods for assessing poultry production areas to identify the risk of epizootic disease at a regional level
  • Identify and quantify risk factors for the introduction
    and spread of AI
  • Construct epidemiological, economic and risk analysis models to aid in decision-making and the development of strategies for the control of AI
  • Increase awareness of epizootic disease and risk factors through the dissemination of project results

Contribution to policy development:

  • Supports the formulation of EU policies on disease prevention, and animal health and welfare
  • Helps harmonise livestock disease policies within
    the EU-25
  • Enables the evaluation of policy and strategy decisions at an early stage of implementation
  • Could lead to the formulation of new epizootic disease control policies

Project deliverables

  • Decision Support System (DSS) toolbox for AI monitoring – Month 18
  • Epidemiological analysis of AI epizootics in the Netherlands and Italy – Month 36
  • Databases (e.g. organizational, economic and bird migration) and analysis of migratory bird issues – Month 30
  • GIS-based toolbox and regional risk assessment – Month 36
  • Guidelines for the implementation of strategies – Month 36


  • Website (regular updates) – Month 6
  • Scientific courses for stakeholders (e.g. policy-makers and SME poultry producers) – Month 18
  • Conference on final results – Month 36
  • Final Report and scientific publications – Month 36

Technical information

Project acronym: HEALTHY POULTRY
Project’s official full title: Development of new integrated strategies for prevention, control and monitoring of epizootic poultry diseases
Research priority: 1.4. New and more environment-friendly production methods to improve animal health and welfare including research on animal diseases, such as foot and mouth disease, swine fever and development of marker vaccines
Specific webpage: Not available
Proposal/contract no: 513737
Start date: Month 1
Kick off meeting: Month1
Completion date: Month 36
European Commission scientific officer: Isabel Minguez-Tudela, and Philippe Martin,

Name: Wageningen University
Abbreviated name: WU
Address: Postbus 6700
EW Wageningen
Country: Netherlands
Tel: +31 317 48 2232
Fax: +31 317 48 2745


Name: University of Vechta
Abbreviated name: ISPA
Country: Germany

Name: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie
Abbreviated name: IZSV
Country: Italy

Name: Utrecht University
Abbreviated name: UU
Country: Netherlands

Name: LEI B.V.
Abbreviated name: LEI
Country: Netherlands     

Name: Szent István University
Abbreviated name: SUI
Country: Hungary

Name: Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica
Abbreviated name: INFS
Country: Italy