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Animal health and welfare
Animal health and welfare - Improving animal diets and well-being
“To tackle infectious diseases in aquaculture using all the expertise and skills that Europe has to offer, with a view to strengthening the scientific base for disease prevention and control.”

The problem

Infectious diseases are the main constraint on Europe’s 2.2 billion euro aquaculture sector (60 000 jobs). Several Member States have improved prevention and management of fish and shellfish diseases by enhancing laboratory facilities, diagnostic expertise, control protocols, and therapeutic strategies. Networks of Community and national reference laboratories support the improvement and harmonisation of standards in the field. Yet to bring the full force of European expertise to bear on the problem, it is essential to expand the multidisciplinary networking effort within the EU and beyond.

PANDA  Teaming up against infectious diseases in aquaculture


PANDA aims to establish an enlarged and permanent European network of experts in aquatic animal health. All known EU -and key non-Union -experts and laboratories will be encouraged to join. Specialised task forces will address the following topics with a view to issuing recommendations to the Commission:

  • Risk analysis of exotic emerging and re-emerging disease hazards
  • Developing an epidemiology database and advising on methods for disease diagnosis, surveillance, and containment
  • Evaluating diagnostic methods (notably their standardisation and validation)
  • Environmentally safe disease control strategies
  • Training needs and opportunities

Contribution to policy development:

  • A comprehensive, functional, de-fragmented international network of experts across all fields relevant to infectious diseases in aquaculture which will be accessible to EU policy-makers and legislators
  • An enhanced, structured scientific knowledge base to support Union policy and legislation
  • Recommendations for disease prevention and control, methods harmonisation, and standards

Project deliverables

  • Identification of the most significant disease hazards
  • Database (with search engine) on the specialist skills and facilities of all network members
  • Database on training opportunities and epidemiological database
  • Reports and recommendations on prevention and vigilance, on diagnostic methods, on control and containment, on training needs
  • Permanent network of experts in aquatic animal diseases and plans for its future maintenance


  • Project website with chat forums – operational from March 2004
  • Regular workshops, posters, newsletter – ongoing
  • Reports on workshops and outputs of work packages – made available on the project website as appropriate
  • Final project activity report – February 2007

Technical information

Project acronym: PANDA
Project’s official full title: Permanent network to strengthen expertise on infectious diseases of aquaculture species and scientific advice to EU policy
Research priority: Research to support the development of policy in the field of epizootic disease (mammals, poultry, fish and shellfish).
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 502329
Start date: 01/01/2004
Kick off meeting: 17-18/01/2004
Completion date: 28/02/2007
European Commission scientific officer: Isabel Minguez-Tudela (

Name: Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Weymouth
Abbreviated name: CEFAS
Address: The Nothe, Barrack Road
Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1305 206600
Fax: +44 (0) 1305 206601


Name: Danish Veterinary Institute
Abbreviated name: DVI
Country: Denmark

Name: Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer
Abbreviated name: IFREMER
Country: France 

Name: Central Institute for Animal Disease Control
Abbreviated name: CICD
Country: The Netherlands     

Name: National Veterinary Institute
Abbreviated name: NVI
Country: Norway

Name: National University of Ireland
Abbreviated name: NUIG
Country: Ireland 

Name: Federation of European Aquaculture Associations
Abbreviated name: FEAP
Country: Belgium

Name: Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentaries
Abbreviated name: IRTA
Country: Spain