Session IV. Resilience to long term FAST crises. The importance of preparedness and planning to help ensure animal welfare, supply chain and business continuity in prolonged emergency responses.

Live Session Streaming

Aim: to consider how control strategies and policies and preparedness planning could ensure greater resilience of businesses and support services in the livestock sector in the event of a prolonged disease emergency situation, comparing approaches to the problem in Europe and other normally FMD free regions.

Main issues:

AGENDA

17 DEC

SESSION IV
  •  

Chair

Dr. Germán Cáceres
 
Round table moderators
Germán Cáceres
Corissa Miller
María de la Puente
 Bouda Ahmadi

F. Reviriego

EUROPEAN COMMISSION. DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY. Adviser to the Director for crisis management in food, animals and plants.

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Ensuring a satisfactory degree of business continuity in the context of moderate to long lasting epidemics of major animal diseases such as FAST is a challenge worldwide. In the EU, business continuity of farming is part of the wider concept of resilience to animal diseases and is fully embedded into the EU policies for sustainability of the food chain like the Farm to Fork Strategy under the Green Deal.
Improving business continuity requires deep knowledge of the structural factors (the value chain, the stakeholders, the legislative framework, resources…) and the disease-specific factors (related to the disease agent, its epidemiology, the disease control measures…) affecting business continuity in each concrete situation.
The EU has developed a wide range of measures of different nature along the past decades to tackle animal diseases within its animal health policy ensuring business continuity.
Three major tools/policies constitute the pillars for business continuity in the EU and deserve specific attention: Biosecurity, Regionalization (zoning) and Vaccination.
A brief description of the EU general policy and regulatory aspects and also some more specific policy and regulatory aspects related to the implementation of Biosecurity, Regionalization (zoning) and Vaccination are presented and illustrated with examples.

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J. Vaarten

Executive Director Federation of Veterinarians of Europe

Tackling FAST-diseases through a Public-Private-Partnership !?

Food-and-mouth disease And Similar Transboundary (FAST) animal diseases are a constant threat to the European livestock sector. They do not only cause large animal health and welfare problems, they are also disruptive for private partners of the livestock production value chain, as well as for public authorities and institutions involved. Successful prevention and control of FAST diseases requires the involvement and collaboration of private and public partners.

A group of 8 European organisations – representing farmers, breeders, traders, feed producers, renderers and the animal health sector – supported by EuFMD, has set up a platform against FAST diseases. The platform seeks communication and collaboration with public partners in a Public-Private-Partnership, and listed items for debate including:
reconsidering criteria for application of emergency vaccination and creating a lever for keeping vaccinated animals in the food chain;
incentivising biosecurity on farms for preventing FAST diseases;
capacity on farms, in test laboratories, on rendering plants, etc. in the face of FAST disease outbreaks;
biosecurity management in the feed chain.

This initiative is well in line with EuFMD Workplans Phase V 2019 – 2021, which aims to establish Public and Private Sector Platforms (PPSP) for FAST diseases. With the support of EuFMD, the private stakeholders wish to invite their public stakeholders’ partners and academia to a series of workshops and simulation exercises that addresses specific aspects of FAST disease prevention and control.

 

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A. Meyer – C. Faverjon

Ausvet Europe, 69001 Lyon, France

The current pandemic of African Swine Fever (ASF) has caused major losses to the swine industry worldwide. Compartmentalization is one of the available tools to address the threat to business continuity posed by ASF to the industry. Although compartments have been implemented for various diseases and production types, no ASF-free swine compartment has been published by OIE to date.
First, we outline the advantages of the approach as well as general challenges for implementation of an ASF-free swine compartment. ASF risk management ranges from prevention, preparedness and early detection activities in disease-free territories to response and eradication after disease introduction has occurred. We discuss the role for zoning and compartmentalisation within this spectrum and specific challenges associated with compartmentalisation (e.g., zero downtime, acceptance by the Veterinary Authority and trading partners).
Then, we discuss two aspects of compartmentalization which are central for successful implementation: biosecurity and disease surveillance, using an illustrative example from North America. Both components are designed to provide evidence that compartment products are free from ASF virus. Biosecurity should be sufficient to mitigate the risk of introduction of virus via all potential routes such as people, fomites, live pigs, pork products and proximity pathways. Implementation of biosecurity measures should be thoroughly documented and auditable. Options for disease surveillance include barn-based observational surveillance, which is able to both support early detection and demonstrate freedom from ASF.
Last, we discuss the relevant stakeholders, roles and responsibilities involved in the development of an effective national ASF compartmentalisation programme. Such programme should include a governance structure, standards for biosecurity, surveillance and traceability, auditing requirements and national ASF surveillance. While integrated swine production systems lend themselves well to compartmentalization, substantial work is required to develop such a programme. Benefits go beyond ASF preparedness, including an improved partnership between industry and government.

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Dr. A. Murray

Supervising Veterinarian
California Department of Food and Agriculture, United State

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) in the United States manages and implements the Secure Food Supply (SFS) Program. The Program is envisioned as a “shield” that protects California agriculture during a Foreign Animal Disease or Notifiable Animal Disease outbreak and provides a pathway to economic survival for the industry through the permitted movement of animals and animal products. While the SFS Program is managed at the state level, it is implemented at the individual premises, rather than a compartment, level. The SFS Program is designed to allow businesses that are unaffected by the disease (i.e. negative for the disease) but located within a quarantine Control Area to maintain some business operations in order to maintain economic viability. The foundation of the Program is enhanced biosecurity that protects the premises and keeps disease out as well as ensures a safe product is leaving the premises. CDFA has been working on SFS planning for many years. During a recent, prolonged outbreak of virulent Newcastle disease in California, CDFA had the opportunity to operationalize the SFS Program. Over the two-year disease response, the Program had many successes, faced several challenges, and identified lessons learned to carry forward to enhance our state animal agricultural industry’s disease preparedness.

 

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G. Graeme

W Vosloo, S. Tapsuwan, R Bradhurst, A Seitzinger, A Breed and T Capon

1 CSIRO-Land and Water, North Road, Acton, 2601, ACT. Australia


2 CSIRO-Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness, 5 Portarlington Road, 3220, Geelong, Australia


3 Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis, School of BioSciences, University of
Melbourne, Parkville, 3010. Victoria, Australia


4 Department of Agriculture, Water Resources and the Environment, Canberra. 2601, ACT. Australia

Introduction

Following an FMD eradication program, surveillance will be required to demonstrate that the program has been successful. The World Animal Health Organization (OIE) provides guidelines including waiting periods and appropriate surveillance to support regaining FMD-free status. Serological surveillance is the recommended method for demonstrating freedom but is time consuming and expensive. New technologies such as real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) tests and sampling techniques such as bulk milk testing (BMT) of dairy cattle, oral swabs, and saliva collection with rope tethers in piggeries could enable surveillance to be done more efficiently.

Materials and methods

Epidemiological modelling was used to simulate FMD outbreaks, with and without emergency vaccination as part of the response, in Australia. Baseline post-outbreak surveillance approaches for unvaccinated and vaccinated animals based on the European FMD directive (EU 2003) were compared with alternate approaches in which the sampling regime, sampling approaches and/or the diagnostic tests used were varied. The approaches were compared in terms of the resources, time taken, cost, and effectiveness i.e. ability of the surveillance regime to correctly identify the infection status of herds.

Results

In the non-vaccination scenarios, the alternative approach took less time to compete and cost less, with the greatest benefits seen with larger outbreaks. In vaccinated populations, the alternate surveillance approaches significantly reduced the numbers of herds sampled, the total number of tests done and costs of the post-outbreak surveillance. There was no reduction in effectiveness using the alternate approaches, with one of the benefits being a reduction in the number of false positive herds.

Discussion

Alternate approaches to FMD surveillance based on non-invasive sampling methods and RT-qPCR tests have the potential to enable post outbreak surveillance substantiating FMD freedom to be done more quickly and less expensively than traditional approaches based on serological surveys.

 

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D. Bickett-Weddle

R. Dewell, M. Lee, V. Lenardon, P. Zaabel, P. Hullinger, T. Goldsmith, M. Sanderson, C. Hanthorn, J. Roth

1 Center for Food Security and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, US


2 National Pork Board, Clive, IA, US


3 The European Commission for the Control of Foot-and -Mouth-Disease, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy


4 Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, US


5 Center for Outcomes Research and Epidemiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, US

Introduction

A transboundary disease outbreak in the U.S. would have immediate and long-lasting impacts on livestock and allied industries. Response plans include immediate movement restrictions for animals and their products that pose a risk of disease spread. This market disruption will impact food availability, animal welfare, and the economic viability of livestock producers. Balancing disease control efforts with business continuity is complex.

Materials and Methods

The USDA APHIS, the National Pork Board, and the American Sheep Industry Association contributed funding to university veterinarians to develop the Secure Food Supply Plans for Continuity of Business. National and international standards for disease control were reviewed. Subject matter experts were consulted. Stakeholders were identified from the dairy, swine, beef, and sheep industries, and state and federal regulatory officials to review and improve guidance documents. Workshops, field demonstrations, tabletops and functional exercises were conducted. Frequent stakeholder webinars are held to collect feedback.

Results

The Secure Milk, Pork, Beef, Sheep and Wool Supply Plans were created to provide guidance to producers, packers/processors, regulatory officials and veterinarians for preparedness and response actions to promote business continuity during a U.S. transboundary animal disease outbreak. Each Plan has industry-specific materials to support contingency planning for movement restrictions, enhance biosecurity, and conduct surveillance. Pro-active risk assessments for milk and pork were conducted. Foundations for movement permitting were created for livestock premises with no evidence of infection. All resources are available online at: www.securefoodsupply.org.

Discussion

The negative animal health, welfare, and economic repercussions will be significant if a transboundary disease is introduced to the U.S. The Secure Food Supply Plans for Business Continuity provide a framework for the livestock industries, state and federal officials to build resiliency now. It is up to stakeholders to put effort into preparedness planning and implementation to increase their likelihood of maintaining business continuity.

 

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G. Savioli

V Muñoz-Gómez, B. Vosough Ahmadi, M. Schuppers

1 SAFOSO AG, Waldeggstrasse 1, CH-3097 Liebefeld, Switzerland

2 Veterinary Public Health Institute (VPHI), Schwarzenburgstrasse 161, CH-3097 Liebefeld, Switzerland

3 Swiss Armed Forces, Competence Centre for Veterinary Services and Army Animals, Caserne Sand CH-3000 Bern, Switzerland


4 The European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD), Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00153 Rome, Italy

Introduction
African swine fever (ASF) is a transboundary animal disease associated with high economic, trade and food security relevance. While direct costs of outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases are often well understood, little information is available about indirect and/or consequential costs of control measures. In this study, a spreadsheet model was developed to estimate the indirect consequential costs of ASF in domestic pigs and wild boars, considering different outbreak scenarios in Switzerland.

Materials and methods
First, qualitative interviews were conducted with international stakeholders to identify the sectors that may be indirectly affected by an ASF outbreak and how this impact can be characterized. Various outbreak scenarios in domestic pigs and wild boar were defined, and Swiss stakeholders were interviewed to gather data on the economic impacts in these scenarios. Finally, a cost-calculator model was used to estimate the indirect costs of an ASF outbreak in Switzerland and a decision-tree model was used to analyse various scenarios given incursion probabilities.

Results
Interviews with international stakeholders demonstrated that actors beyond the pig value chain were also indirectly affected by ASF, including, for example, the timber industry, agricultural insurance companies and feed crop producers. Important drivers for indirect costs in Switzerland were consumer demand, slaughter restrictions and biosecurity requirements.

Discussion
The findings demonstrate that the impact of an ASF outbreak will be felt well beyond the pig farms directly affected. Changes in consumer demand will impact the entire pig value chain. Furthermore, certain measures, including biosecurity measures (e.g. compulsory indoor housing) or transport restrictions for healthy pigs may lead to significant indirect consequential costs throughout the value chain. It is crucial for all stakeholders to be informed about the emergency measures that will be taken in an outbreak and their consequences to enable them to prepare for and mitigate their impacts.

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T. Marshick

I. Kopacka, S. Stockreiter, F. Schmoll, J. Hiesel, A. Höflechner-Pöltl, A. Käsbohrer, B. Pinior

1 Institute of Food Safety, Food Technology and Veterinary Public Health, Unit of Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria

2 Division for Data, Statistics and Risk Assessment, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), Zinzendorfgasse 27/1, 8010 Graz, Austria

3 Department for Animal Health and Animal Disease Control, Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Protection, Radezkystraße 2, 1030 Vienna, Austria

4 Division for Animal Health, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES), Robert-Koch-Gasse 17, 2340 Moedling, Austria


5 Department of Veterinary Administration, Styrian Provincial Government, Friedrichgasse 9, 8010 Graz, Austria

Introduction
An outbreak of foot-and mouth disease (FMD) in an FMD-free country with substantial export volume of livestock and livestock products, such as Austria, would likely have serious consequences on national economy. This could be mitigated by a rapid intervention to control disease spread. The objectives of this study were to assess the epidemiological and economic impact of FMD outbreaks in Austria by simulation studies, to evaluate the effect of various control strategies and to assess the resources that would be required to respond to an FMD outbreak in Austria.


Materials and methods
The multi-country FMD outbreak simulation model EuFMDiS was used to simulate a potential FMD outbreak in Austrian regions with both low and high livestock densities. The consequences on the Austrian economy were evaluated by a model, which combines the economic results from EuFMDiS with our own calculation of costs. Direct costs linked to the implementation of several control strategies under consideration, as well as the indirect costs caused by production losses and international trade restrictions were estimated. A sensitivity analysis was performed on potential influential input parameters.


Results
The results showed that there is a significant influence of the livestock density of the affected region on the dynamics of the outbreak and its economic impact. Comparison of different control strategies suggested that, from an economic point of view, implementation of additional control measures would be efficient if the epidemic started in an area with high livestock density. Analysis of the simulations demonstrated that success of control measures depends substantially on the adequate availability of resources and the speed of intervention. The vast majority of financial losses associated with an FMD outbreak could be attributed to export losses. Surveillance cost accounted for the largest share of the costs linked to the control strategies.


Discussion
The current study indicates that control of an FMD outbreak may be improved by implementation of a contingency strategy adapted to the affected region and by consideration of a range of factors evaluated in this work.

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A. Rivera

, A. Araujo, C. Linares, J. Vela, V. Mendez N. Naranjo, E. Pituco, M. J. Sánchez-Vazquez

1 Panamerican Center for Foot-and-Mouth Disease and Veterinary Public Health. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


2 Instituto Colombiano Agropecuario. Bogotá. Colombia.

Introduction
The internal risk of foot-and-mouth disease in South America is located in the north of the Andean subregion. In June 2017, an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease was detected in the department of Arauca (municipality Tame) and it was the beginning of a complex epidemic event that was completed in October 2018. This work presents a descriptive analysis of the sanitary actions that were carried out for its control and eradication and to reduce the impact of eventual new incursions.


Materials and methods
For this situation analysis, the information of the epidemiological investigations carried out, including serological studies, and the control and prevention actions implemented, is used as input.

Results
Between June 20 and July 11 of 2017, three outbreaks were reported in two departments of the country. These outbreaks were controlled by stamping out, quarantine of the affected municipalities, with the prohibition of movement and implementation of checkpoints, resulting in the formation of a containment zone. After 14 months without new cases, in September 2018 an outbreak was detected in the containment zone, and in October, another two in two border departments. These events showed flaws in the control strategy and it was decided to add an emergency vaccination.
A total of 5,464 animals were euthanized. Serological studies verified that, after emergency vaccination, the bovine population was highly protected, and no evidence of viral transmission was found. A new control and prevention strategy was conceived according to the risk and the epidemiological situation of the area


Discussion
The formation of the containment zone to reduce the impact of the outbreak and the causes that led to its suspension are discussed. It is argued about the modification of the strategy to overcome the health emergency and the implementation of a new zoning of the country to mitigate the impact of possible new incursions.

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K. Mintiens

H. Ferreira, G. Garner, R. Bradhurst, S. Yadav, E. Moroney, M. Casey, M. de la Puente, J. Dewulf, P. Hullinger

1 European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, FAO, Rome, Italy

2 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

3 Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis, School of BioSciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia.

4 Elise Moroney, Irish Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine, Dublin, Ireland

5 Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Introduction
Interest in biosecurity has risen considerably over the last decade in parallel with increasing food trade, outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases, and increasing antimicrobial resistance. Enhancing biosecurity is crucial for both preventing and controlling FAST diseases. In this paper we describe the impact of enhancing biosecurity on pig farms on simulated foot-and-mouth disease epidemics (FMD) in Ireland, using the EuFMDiS model.


Materials and methods
EuFMDiS is a continental-scale modelling platform of livestock disease spread and control that simulates transmission within and between countries. EuFMDiS considers on-farm biosecurity as a protective measure for indirect and local disease spread between herds. It is parameterised as a biosecurity weight of the destination herd that influences the probability of this herd to become infected.
The biosecurity weights are derived from a FMD biosecurity score that is estimated for different pig herd types in Ireland based on the data that are collected by Biocheck.Ugent®, a risk-based scoring system for evaluating the quality of on-farm biosecurity. To estimate the impact of enhanced on-farm biosecurity on the spread and control of FMD, the minimum value of the FMD biosecurity score were truncated at a higher value, simulating a compulsory implementation of additional biosecurity measures on all farm.


Results
The mean (min/max) FMD Biosecurity Score estimated from the Biocheck.Ugent data for Irish pig herds (n=254) was estimated at 63% (41%;83%), which is higher than the mean Score for pig herds (n=2066) in all European countries that participate in Biocheck.Ugent, i.e. 62% (18%, 96%). Truncating the minimum Score for Irish pig herds to 50% resulted in reduction in size and duration of FMD outbreaks in Ireland.

Discussion
This pilot study shows the potential positive impact of implementing on-farm biosecurity management systems on the resilience to FAST disease outbreaks. The study requires further elaboration but can potentially contribute to solutions for business continuity during epidemics.

 

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R. Garcia

Former president of the Association of Government Veterinarians (UK)

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This talk discusses how the wellbeing of veterinary services is a key element of resilient FAST crises. The talk includes a summary of relevant findings from the UK Government Vet Wellbeing Survey 2018. This report was collated following a self-selected anonymous survey across vets undertaking work for government (including both those directly employed by government, under contract, and those working for other employers who deliver contracted government work) designed to assess opinions on various aspects of wellbeing including health and safety, workplace, and mental health.

The survey was disseminated via office notices, targeted emails, online blogs and social media and received over 700 responses. Most replies originated from vets that have undertaken work for government for more than 10 years, working full time and spending the majority of their working time in the field.

The talk also introduces examples of veterinary services wellbeing impact factors and concludes that we must explore wellbeing impact factors for veterinary services and identify tools and processes that help manage and improve wellbeing within veterinary services.

 

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