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Seventh International Conference on Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis 2020) - postponed to 2021

The Seventh International Conference on Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis 2020) which was due to take place in Galway from 8-11 June 2020 has now been postponed until 2021.

The organisers would like to thank plenary speakers, abstract submitters, registrants, sponsors and all those who supported the Conference.  The Scientific Committee had put together a highly informative and innovative conference programme to benefit policy-makers, scientists and industry stakeholders.  They received in excess of 270 abstracts for either oral or poster presentations from authors based in more than 35 countries and a large number of delegates from a wide range of countries had registered to attend; this reflects the extent to which M. bovis is a global health issue.

The conference organisers hope that this decision will provide confidence and reassurance to all those who were planning to visit Galway and hope that delegates will be in a position to attend the conference next year, tentatively scheduled for early June 2021.

For further information, please visit https://www.mbovis2020.com

European perspectives on efforts to reduce antimicrobial usage in food animal production

A review was recently published by Professor Simon More, Director of the UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (CVERA), of efforts within the EU to reduce antimicrobial usage in food animal production. This is particularly pertinent noting that new regulations on veterinary medicines and medicated feed, in force from 28 January 2022, will substantially influence antimicrobial prescribing and usage throughout Europe into the future. The review outlines the considerable progress that is being made in a number of member states, and is published in the Irish Veterinary Journal (2020) 73, 2. The open access paper is available at https://doi.org/10.1186/s13620-019-0154-4

NexusMAP - developing an expert system model to support national decision-making

An existing spatio-temporal transmission model for Johne’s disease is available, accounting for population and infection dynamics, and simulating transmission of infection within and between dairy farms in Brittany. The model was developed by colleagues at Biology, Epidemiology, and Risk Analysis in Animal Health (Biologie, Epidémiologie et Analyse du Risque or BioEpAR), Nantes, France. In a collaboration between BioEpAR, the UCD Centre for Veterinary Epidemiology and Risk Analysis (CVERA) and Animal Health Ireland, Floor Biemans from INRAE (the French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment) is currently adapting the French model to Irish conditions, including the incorporation of Irish cattle movement data. Several intervention strategies are being investigated with the aim to support decision-making for the national voluntary Johne’s control programme.

African Swine Fever in the EU

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published its latest annual update on the presence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the European Union. In 2019, there was progressive expansion of the area of the EU affected by ASF, and all phases of the epidemic are now represented in the EU. The situation varies substantially between Member States, due to multiple influences including the structure of domestic pig production (in particular, the proportion of backyard holdings), geographical conditions, and the characteristics of the wild boar population. Backyard (noncommercial) farms present particular challenges for an ASF eradication programme, such as uncontrolled movements of pigs and people, poor biosecurity and the identification of holdings. Professor Simon More is a member of EFSA’s ASF working group. Further information is available at: https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/news/african-swine-fever-disease-spreading-slowly-eu

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