Rabies the most frequently suspected severe animal disease in 2011 - Finland remains rabies-free
Rabies was suspected in 26 pet animals, and also, in one cow, one fox, one raccoon dog, and three bats. None of the suspected cases were diagnosed with rabies. Finland remains rabies-free. Anthrax was suspected in cattle or sheep in nine cases, and bovine leukosis in four cases. Evira received in 2011 a total of 69 immediate reports of suspected cases of animal diseases under regulatory eradication. They were all investigated and no new diseases were diagnosed.
The reporting of suspected animal diseases and the swift investigation of the cases will help identify any severe animal diseases arriving in Finland in time to ensure that they can be fought at an as early stage as possible.
The objective of animal disease control is to detect contagious animal diseases as soon as possible to stop them from spreading. This will enable us to maintain the good animal disease status in Finland also in the future.
The Finnish Animal Disease Act defines an animal disease as a disease or an infection that can be transmitted directly or indirectly from one animal to another or to people. Animal diseases are in the Act classified to highly contagious diseases, dangerous diseases, controlled diseases and other diseases. Highly contagious, dangerous and controlled animal diseases are jointly referred to as diseases under regulatory eradication.
If the owner of the animal suspects that the animal is suffering from an animal disease under regulatory eradication, he must report this suspicion to an official veterinarian, primarily to the municipal veterinarian. The municipal veterinarian will report the suspicion to the provincial veterinarian who in turn informs Evira.
When a suspected animal disease is reported, Evira issues instructions for required sampling and any other action that may be necessary. The samples are in most cases analysed in Evira's laboratories. So-called restrictive regulations are often imposed on the farm pending analyses, to prevent the animals from being moved away from the farm and the infection from spreading to other farms.
The purpose of animal disease control is to detect infectious diseases at an as early stage as possible to stop the spreading of the disease in time and retain the disease status good also in future.