Policy Areas

Norwegian measures against Avian influenza

Three Commission decisions aimed at further reducing the threat of Avian influenza were endorsed by EU Member States and Norway in meetings in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) on Thursday 20 October and Friday 21 October.

25/10/2005 :: The decisions relate to further biosecurity measures for domestic flocks of raised birds, preventive vaccination of zoo birds and an extension of safeguard measures towards Russia. The Standing Committee also issued a statement and took note of the situation in Greece. Norway participates in EU’s work in food safety and animal health through the EEA Agreement.

The Standing Committee voted in favour of a draft Commission decision to restrict keeping poultry outdoor in areas of particular risk of Avian influenza. The states themselves are responsible for defining the risk areas. South and eastern part of Norway are amongst areas defined by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority to be in this category.  The restrictions will ensure that wild birds have no contact with feed and water destined for raised birds.

A draft Commission decision that provides for additional bio security measures to protect birds kept in zoo, was also approved by the Standing Committee. If deemed appropriate states may make recourse to vaccination. Furthermore, the Standing Committee backed a draft Commission decision to ban all imports of live pet birds and unprocessed feathers from the European part of Russia. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has asked the Norwegian Customs and Exise to escalate the inspection to prevent illegal import of poultry and poultry-products.

Since 2001, Norway has had a national contingency plan for pandemic. The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services has appointed a pandemic committee which is conducted by the Directorate for Health and Social Affairs and with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health as secretariat. It has been established a stockpile of medicament and a supply contract of future influenza vaccine has been entered into.

 

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Photo: The Norwegian Ministry of Agriculture and Food.