Situation in Finland regarding animal diseases remained good in 2012


<p>Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira received 123 direct notifications of suspected new, serious animal diseases or diseases which must be combated. The situation with regard to animal diseases remained positive. New animal diseases, subject to a statutory obligation to combat, did not spread to Finland.</p>

The most commonly suspected serious animal disease was rabies. A total of 29 pets and seven other animals were examined because of suspected rabies. None of them was established to have rabies. Bird flu and Newcastle disease were the next most commonly suspected animal diseases. There were 12 cases of suspected Newcastle disease in poultry and eight suspected cases of potato blight in bovine animals.

The strategic objectives of animal welfare monitoring were achieved. The situation regarding easily transmittable and dangerous diseases remained excellent and no new diseases capable of passing from animals to humans (zoonoses) were detected in Finland. Newcastle disease, which was found in two locations among racing pigeons, did not spread to poultry farms. The emergence of a single atypical case of scrapie on a sheep farm did not constitute a risk of a spreading animal disease.

Finland remained free of infectious bovine leukosis, infectious bovine rhino tracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) as well as swine PRRS and the Echinococcus multilocularis parasite. The IPN virus, which was detected on several fish farms, resulted in more targeted control, in order to combat serious variants of the disease. The northern salmon rivers remained free of the Gyrodactylus salaris parasite and the occurrence of salmonella in production animals remained well below one per cent.

Schmallenberg disease and Mycoplasma bovis spread to Finland

Schmallenberg disease in ruminants and bovine Mycoplasma bovis were new diseases found in Finland on several farms. After a break of several decades, infectious laryngotracheitis (ILT) was found amongst several poultry hobby flocks. These animal diseases are not statutorily combated by the authorities.

Prevention and preparedness in respect of animal diseases were enhanced, in particular with regard to the African swine fever and rabies, following an increase in the risk of these diseases in recent years in the proximity of the eastern border.

The purpose of the monitoring of animal diseases is to detect as quickly as possible the emergence of any contagious animal disease, in order to prevent its spread sufficiently early and to maintain the current positive state of infectious animal diseases in Finland. Most suspected cases of contagious animal disease, which are subject to statutory prevention, must be reported to the official veterinarian without delay.

Further information: 
Sirpa Kiviruusu, Divisional Manager, tel. +358 400 920 503

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