Do you suspect that an animal in your care has been infected with a serious infectious disease? If that is the case, you are obliged to immediately report it to a veterinarian to reduce the risk of further infection, and to facilitate combating of the disease.
An Epizootic disease is a serious infectious disease that may constitute a threat to both people’s and animals’ health. There is a special law to facilitate combating these diseases, and it regulates how to act if you suspect that there might be even a minimum risk that your animal is infected by such a disease. If you are taking care of an animal, and suspect that it has been infected with one of these diseases, you have an obligation to immediately report it to a veterinarian.
There are also other infectious animal diseases that can transfer to animals or humans and that are not under the obligation to report for animal owners, but for veterinarians and laboratories. For example, veterinarians must notify the County Administrative Board if they suspect any of the following equine diseases:
- influenza type A
- central nervous form of EHV-1-associated abortion
- viral arteritis.
Who do I contact if my animals get sick?
At firsthand, contact a veterinarian if your animals get sick. If you cannot get a hold of your primary veterinarian, call the closest veterinarian on duty. If you have general questions about serious infectious diseases, you may turn to the Swedish Board of Agriculture or to the National Veterinarian Institute.
The occurrence of animal diseases in the county
Current data on the occurrence of animal diseases in the county, and in other parts of Sweden, can be found on the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s website.
Descriptions of the diseases, and information about current cases of animal diseases, can also be found on the National Veterinary Institute’s website.
Brief information on reported equine diseases is published on the Swedish Trotting Association’s website.
Who is responsible for the disease control?
The Swedish Board of Agriculture has the overall national responsibility for disease control and for combating infectious animal diseases.
The County Administrative Board and the County Medical Officer share the regional responsibility for preventive disease control of animals in the county. The County Medical Officer knows, and informs, about current disease cases in the county.
The County Administrative Board cooperates with disease control specialists, the County Medical Officer, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, the Public Health Agency, the National Food Administration and the National Veterinarian Institute as well as with veterinarians operating in the field and county municipalities.
Serious outbreaks of infectious animal diseases
If the county is struck by an outbreak of a serious infectious animal disease, a so called Epizootic disease, the County Administrative Board coordinates the combative efforts. We are also responsible for ensuring compliance with the decisions made in relation to various efforts to combat the disease.
Single cases of infected pets
When single cases of infected pets are found, and there is a risk that the animal may transfer the disease to humans, the municipal environment and health protection committee is responsible for taking proper action for disease control.
If you own a horse, you need to make sure it has a passport. All horses in the EU are required to have a valid passport, no matter their age or breed. The County Administrative Board is responsible for the supervision and we may require you to obtain a passport for your horse. If the horse does not have a passport, you may be prosecuted.
The purpose of the passport is both to ensure that medications, and residues from medications, do not end up in our food products, and to support the efforts of limiting infection by serious infectious animal diseases.
The breeder’s organisations issue the horse passports. If the horse dies, or are put down, you need to get the passport voided by contacting the breeder organisation that issued your horse’s passport in the first place.
Visiting an animal facility
To visit a farm, and encounter animals, is greatly appreciated by a lot of people. To ensure an enjoyable and successful visit it is important that you protect both yourself and the animals from infection.
If you are visiting an animal facility you may want to consider a few things even before you go on your visit. There may be bacteria, and other infectious agents, in both humans and animals that may be transferred and cause diseases in both humans and animals. Those infectious agents may be transferred in contact with the animal’s fur, skin, body fluids, muck or environment. The best thing to do, to avoid infection, is to wash your hands before and after the visit.
Food waste containing animal products
In some cases, food waste may compose a source of infection for animal. Therefore, feeding your micro pig, or your chickens, with food waste containing meat or other animal products is not allowed. This ban applies to all livestock production animals – i.e animals that are being kept and bred for production of food, leather or any other product.