Denmark has a long history of intensive production of food of animal origin and of trade in animals and animal products. Relative to its size and compared with that of other countries, the level of animal production in Denmark is quite high, and production has increased over the past decades.
Concurrently with the increase in animal production, disease surveillance and control programmes have been developed to improve animal health and animal welfare and thereby support the production of safe foods.
Regulations on animal disease control have been imposed to benefit animal welfare, to prevent infections in humans and animals, to advance food safety and to defend trade interests. The extensive trade in Danish animals and animal products is highly dependent on the good health status of Danish livestock. To keep livestock healthy, various initiatives are taken to limit the risk of disease introduction into Denmark. One example is that the number of imported cloven-hoofed animals has been kept as low as possible for many years.
The DVFA is constantly adapting the legal framework of the disease control regulations to changes in farming practices, disease risk assessments etc. Therefore, the contingency plans for disease outbreaks are revised on a regular basis. Additionally, operational capabilities are continuously improved to provide a prompt and effective response to every single suspected case or outbreak of a notifiable infectious disease in the Danish livestock population.
The main purpose of the improvements in operational capabilities is:
- To reduce the likelihood that exotic livestock diseases will be introduced into Denmark.
- To curb disease spread in susceptible animal populations by restricting hazardous animal trade practices and maintaining a constant focus on improving biosecurity measures.
- To ensure effective disease surveillance and early detection of diseases.
- To have in place plans for appropriate and effective actions for the control of disease outbreaks.
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