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SafeGuard

GIQS 10th anniversary week surpassing all expectations

Under the headline 10th annivesary of GIQS a conference week on animal health and food safety took place from 11th till 14th October 2011 in the historic setting of Gut Havichhorst near Münster. The week´s agenda was captained by the SafeGuard conference on 12th October 2011 with nearly 90 participants from the Netherlands and Germany. The conference programme contained mid term results from all working packages of the INTERREG IVA project on the topics animal disease control, prevention of zoonotic diseases and food safety.

The animal disease control session provided different concepts on the cross border harmonisation of measures in case of an outbreak. Researchers presented features on the handling of milk in FMD-crisis, biosecurity protocols, the control of emerging diseases and on the benefit of cross border crisis management systems. While Geralda Hop from Wageningen UR presented requirements for Dutch-German cooperation in crisis, Dr. Oliver Breuer gave an introduction on the preparation of the first cross border crisis management exercise that is scheduled for 2013. According to Breuer regular cross border exercises are a crucial tool for the enhancement of national crisis management measures in the borde area.

Zoonotic diseases – meaning any infectious disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans or from humans to animals – are steadily growing in relevance. During the zoonoses session of the conference the presentations on different MRSA spread patterns received a large amount of attention. Prof. Dr. Alexander Friedrich from Universitair Medisch Centrum Groningen (UMCG) is dealing with the zoonotic potential of animal associated MRSA in SafeGuard. In his presentation he came to the following conclusion:”What we really need is a new health concept that integrates farmers, veterinaries and physicians”. Next to MRSA different tools were illustrated for Salmonella monitoring in pigs. Dr. Katja Brase from the Animal Health Service in Lower Saxony pointed out that on both sides of the border pigs are vaccinated against several infections, but there are still no unitary concepts for testing and monitoring available.

In the third session of the SafeGuard conference Food Safety results were presented to the audience. One working group introduced their findings on PFC residues and how they manage to find their wy from feed into livestock. A rather exotic subject was presented by Dr. Edda Bartelt of LAVES Institute for Fish and Fishery products: in SafeGuard she deals with the spread of Pacific oysters in the Wadden Sea that are suppressing the native mussels for years. On the one hand this process is an economic issue for the local fishermen. On the other hand the risk for human health after collecting and eating pacific oysters is still not clear.

Short reviews of all presentations are available for download>>

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