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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Two tools for prioritising animal diseases available online

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News of 10/12/2015

Control of animal diseases is a major problem for the public authorities. Whether for public health or economic reasons, it is essential to control the main diseases in order to protect both animal and human populations, since certain animal diseases can be transmitted to humans (zoonoses). In this context, following the national consultation on the health sector (États Généraux du Sanitaire) in 2010, ANSES received a formal request from the Ministry of Agriculture to develop a method for prioritising the animal diseases present in France or likely to be introduced here and to apply it for the different livestock species, based on the available data. In response to this, ANSES developed an initial prioritisation tool that it has applied to a list of 103 diseases for "major" livestock production sectors, and then a second simplified method intended for prioritising animal diseases for "minor" production sectors or those for which there are few available data. These tools are now available online on the Agency's website, in the form of spreadsheets, to enable risk managers and professionals to adapt the prioritisation of animal diseases to precise needs (limited geographical area, etc.) and for specific sectors or sub-sectors (one species of ruminant targeted, for example).


In the area of animal health, the situation in France has improved considerably over the past 50 years, with the eradication of brucellosis, foot and mouth disease, Newcastle disease, porcine cysticercosis and classical swine fever. Those diseases responsible for the most deadly animal epidemics, as well as the major zoonoses, are now considered to be generally under control in France.


However, other diseases persist, causing heavy economic losses on farms and serious health crises. In addition, older diseases that had been eradicated in France risk re-emerging to a greater or lesser degree. Control of animal diseases is therefore a major problem for the public authorities.


Following the national consultation on the health sector in 2010, the Agency received a formal request from the Ministry of Agriculture concerning the prioritisation of infectious and parasitic animal diseases present in France for the various species of ruminants, swine, poultry, rabbits and Equidae, with the aim of providing scientific insight to the Ministry for its animal diseases categorisation programme.


ANSES again received a request for the prioritisation of animal diseases present in France or not (exotic diseases) for other farmed species – fish, molluscs, crustaceans and bees – as well as for dogs and cats.


The aim was to rank animal diseases mainly according to their consequences for animal health and public health. Accordingly, the Agency developed prioritisation tools incorporating eight groups of criteria:

  • Potential for persistence and progression of the disease/infection in animals;
  • Economic and commercial impact of the disease in the affected farms;
  • Impact of the disease on human health;
  • Societal impact of the disease;
  • Impact of the disease on biodiversity;
  • Limits on the effectiveness of control measures;
  • Overall economic impact of control measures at the national level;
  • Societal and environmental impact of control measures.

The first prioritisation tool, intended for "major" livestock species, is particularly precise, taking into account numerous criteria for which ample detailed data are needed on the diseases and species in question.

The second tool offers a simplified method for considering the prioritisation of animal diseases among species for which knowledge is far more limited, with the uncertainty taken into account.

These tools are now available online on the Agency's website, in the form of spreadsheets. They enable risk managers and professionals to adapt the prioritisation of animal diseases to precise needs and for specific sectors or sub-sectors.
 

Generic prioritisation tool
Prioritisation tool by sector (editable)
Simplified generic prioritisation tool

(All documents are in French only)