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Global Health News
June 29, 2022

COVID-19: More than a pandemic

Today’s headlines are dominated by diseases such as COVID-19, African Swine Fever and Avian Influenza. These pandemics have exposed the vulnerability of the modern food production chain and the huge implications for animal welfare and food security . Some experts believe that outbreaks of new (and old) diseases will occur more often in the future and will have a huge impact on the food production system. It is important to better understand the impact and to identify options to make the global food system more resilient.
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Global Health News
June 28, 2022

Vaccination of commercial poultry against avian influenza – a paradigm shift in the making

For many decades, the commercial poultry industries in the European Union and North America have maintained the policy not to vaccinate their birds against avian influenza. In the event of an outbreak of avian influenza on a poultry farm, regardless of the pathogenicity of the strain, the policy has been to cull and destroy all birds on the farm; the policy often applied to poultry farms in the immediate vicinity of the affected farm as well.
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SAFOSO News
June 27, 2022

Model for quantifying the risk of AMR exposure via food products

In this research project funded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), SAFOSO and AUSVET Europe developed a stochastic modelling framework to assess the risk of exposure of consumers to AMR genes through the consumption of chicken and lettuce products.
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SAFOSO News
June 27, 2022

Environment sector engagement for needs assessment workshop in Lao PDR

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a concerted effort to engage the environment sector in One Health efforts for upstream disease prevention. To this end, the first ever pilot environment sector country mapping and needs assessment workshop took place in May in Vientiane, Lao PDR organized by the World Bank in collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization – Asia and Pacific Region technical team and SAFOSO, as part of its effort to develop Laos Country One Health Profile. This workshop marks a very important step in the engagement of the environment sector in One Health.
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Global Health News
April 13, 2022

Impact on access to markets

Ukrainian agricultural producers and food processors play a crucial role in both domestic and global food supply systems. Ukraine is the lead exporter in the world for sunflower oil with a global market share exceeding 50 %. It is also a major global player in the export of wheat: every tenth loaf of bread globally is baked using Ukrainian grain. In Africa and the Middle East, every second to third loaf of bread is baked from Ukrainian grain. Ukrainian corn is used in feed around the world; approximately one third of corn exports are directed to the European Union (EU). Ukraine is also the 7th largest global exporter of poultry meat and the 2nd largest exporter of honey.
Global Health News
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Global Health News
April 12, 2022

Impact on livestock production

Livestock industry operations in Ukraine are in large part disrupted or suspended due to Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine. There are major shortages in staff, electricity, fuel, feed and other supplies such as fertilized eggs and livestock semen required to maintain regular production capacities and operations. Facilities associated with livestock production are being destroyed or are under threat, and landmines in fields pose a threat to grazing animals and to farmers who need to access the fields. While Ukraine is beginning to recognize certain livestock and livestock production supplies as critical for imports, these measures are only just beginning to mitigate the damage already done to livestock production.
Global Health News
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Global Health News
April 12, 2022

Impact on milk processing

Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine is having a great impact on milk processing companies, the extent of which depends on the specific location of the company. Companies located in areas with active hostilities have had to suspend their operations to protect the safety of their employees, including some belonging to the top ten dairy manufacturers in Ukraine. This applies primarily to the oblasts (provinces) with active hostilities in the north-east, east and south of the country.
Global Health News
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Global Health News
April 8, 2022

Impact on animal health

Russia’s military aggression towards Ukraine is causing significant damage to the Ukrainian agricultural sector. National animal health and food security are among the first to suffer as a result. The security of livestock farms in Ukraine is currently in a critical situation.
Global Health News
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Updates
March 7, 2022

Help for Ukraine

We are shocked and appalled by the war in Ukraine and the suffering it is causing and condemn this blatant violation of international law.
Updates
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SAFOSO News
January 18, 2022

Assessment of the resilience of veterinary services globally

SAFOSO supported a project led by the University of Florida to assess the resilience of state, national, and public veterinary services globally and to investigate the changes in networks of existing collaborations in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increased attention on the benefits of collaboration across sectors for emergency preparedness in a One Health context.
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Global Health News
January 18, 2022

Global African Swine Fever Update

The African Swine Fever (ASF) pandemic is continuing to create challenges globally as the virus spreads to more and more countries: for many of the remaining ASF-free countries, it is no longer a question of “if” but “when” ASF will be introduced. Thailand and Italy confirmed ASF for the first time this month. In Thailand, it was officially recognized as the first outbreak in a slaughterhouse despite speculation that ASF had been present in Thailand for at least several weeks (Reuters, 2022a). In Italy, it was detected in wild boars for the first time on the mainland since1983 (Reuters, 2022b; Danzetta et al., 2020). While the source of the infection is unknown at this time, ASF virus is known to travel long distances due in large part to human behavior, as the virus persists for long periods in pork products and in the environment.
Global Health News
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Global Health News
January 18, 2022

Global update on Avian Influenza: Rising Cases, Longer Season

The number of cases of avian influenza in birds and in people globally this season is higher than usual and particularly concerning due to the associated risks to poultry industries and human health. Outbreaks were reported in birds in 41 countries across Europe and Asia within six months between May and November 2021, some of which were of subtypes that have zoonotic potential (OIE, 2021a). And the season is still ongoing. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) calls the genetic variability of subtypes "unprecedented” that creates “an epidemiologically challenging landscape" (OIE, 2021a).
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Publications and Reports
January 18, 2022

Using novel data streams from digital platforms to integrate surveillance efforts

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly shown that management of infectious diseases requires a top-down approach which must be complemented with a bottom-up response to be effective and efficient.
Publications and Reports
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Global Health News
January 17, 2022

China recognizes ASF zones in France

China has agreed to recognize zones that will allow for the continuation of pork exports from France in the event that African swine fever (ASF) is introduced into France. A favorable agreement was finally reached for effective implementation starting in December 2021 after nearly two years of negotiation (Négociations internationales, 2021).
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SAFOSO News
January 15, 2022

SAFOSO joins the movement to promote vaccination against COVID-19

In December, SAFOSO joined the movement to promote vaccination against COVID-19. In order to convince more people to become vaccinated in German-speaking countries, the @Antoni agency launched the #ZusammenGegenCorona (#TogetherAgainstCorona) initiative.
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Our Services
October 18, 2021

Regional virtual feedback session on ASF detection and response trainings in Asia

In September 2021, SAFOSO and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO RAP) organized a virtual feedback session to understand how FAO regional training on African swine fever (ASF) detection and emergency response has been applied in Asia. In the last two years, three rounds of the regional trainings were organized covering nine member countries. Five of the countries have been conducting trainings with veterinary staff at provincial and district levels on ASF detection and response. Even in the COVID-19 pandemic, the country teams succeeded in implementing the activity in a strict health protocol mode.
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October 18, 2021

Virtual workshops for the development of national ASF tabletop simulation exercises for Asia

SAFOSO and FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific organized two back-to-back virtual workshops to develop a tabletop African swine fever (ASF) simulation exercise for national-level adaptation for countries in the Asia and Pacific regions. With support from the United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency and USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, the workshops were conducted in response to veterinarians in the region requesting further face-to-face training support to manage ASF in their countries.
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October 14, 2021

A Roadmap for the national raw milk control program in Ukraine

The design and development of a roadmap marks an important milestone for the national raw milk control program in the Ukraine. SAFOSO was proud to lead this multi-lateral partnership effort under the framework of the “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine.” The road map describes the upscaling process of the control program from four pilot oblasts to the national level in the Ukraine. The overall vision is that of a fully running control program on raw milk that contributes to the health and wellbeing of the Ukrainian population, that guarantees a higher product quality and a stronger dairy sector, and that can inspire sustainable trade and job creation.
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Global Health News
October 14, 2021

Discussion on antimicrobial restriction in animals in Europe

Global Health News
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Global Health News
October 14, 2021

Link between ASF and the spillover of SARS-CoV-2

It has been suggested by scientists that the ASF pandemic may have indirectly contributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, since pork shortages in China may have led to increased farming and consumption of wildlife. This increase in live wildlife-human contacts may have increased the risk of spillover events, such as that which allowed SARS-CoV-2 to adapt to humans. Although the theory is interesting and has been substantiated through publication in Science magazine this August and in Nature last year, there is not enough scientific evidence at this time to link ASF directly to COVID-19.
Global Health News
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People
October 14, 2021

People behind SAFOSO: Amanda Tang

Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Amanda Tang shares her story.
People
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Our Services
October 14, 2021

SAFOSO Supports the 5th European Food Risk Assessment (EU-FORA) Fellowship Programme

During the 5th EFSA-EUFORA induction training, twenty-five mid-career scientists from eight European countries and from Georgia, Belarus and Azerbaijan were trained on topics related to food safety. SAFOSO proudly coordinated the implementation of the 5th cycle of the EFSA-EUFORA Induction Training from the 30th of August until the 17th of September in collaboration with AGES (Austria), BfR (Germany) and EFET (Greece). The training covered various topics related to food safety risk assessment including introduction to food safety principles, statistics and modelling, epidemiology, microbiological and chemical risk assessment.
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Global Health News
August 23, 2021

ASF in Germany and the Dominican Republic

There have been significant recent developments in the spread of African swine fever (ASF) in the world. Developments in the distant countries of Germany and the Dominican Republic are especially grabbing headlines, with domestic pigs becoming infected in Germany and the first cases in the western hemisphere in nearly 40 years appearing in the Dominican Republic. ASF continues to spread in domestic pigs in countries such as in China, the Philippines, Romania, Poland and Serbia (Cadogan, 1 Aug 2021; Fastmarkets, 2021; FAO EMPRES, 2021). The spread of the virus is worse among wild boar in countries such as Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia (Cadogan, 1 Aug 2021). We turn our attention here to the evolving situations in Germany and the Dominican Republic. While the developments in the two countries are unrelated to each other, they highlight the scope and challenges associated with controlling the disease.
Global Health News
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People
August 23, 2021

People behind SAFOSO: Manon Schuppers

Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Manon Schuppers shares her story.
People
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Our Services
August 23, 2021

SAFOSO supports ASF compartments in South Africa to strengthen biosecurity amidst continued spread of ASF virus in the country

SAFOSO in collaboration with South African Pork Producers' Organisation assessed the current African Swine Fever (ASF) pig compartment system in South Africa based on the perception of farm managers and veterinarians of the risk of ASF introduction. Although the overall management system appears to be robust, certain gaps were identified, and SAFOSO prepared associated recommendations to close those gaps.
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Global Health News
August 23, 2021

SARS-CoV-2 reservoir in white-tailed deer

The USDA published a preprint study on 29July suggesting that 40 % of white-tailed deer assessed in four U.S. states have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 based on antibody testing (Chandler et al., 2021).These findings raise concerns that white-tailed deer could be a wildlife reservoir for SARS-CoV-2 that could result in future outbreaks in humans. The findings represent the first detection of widespread exposure to the virus in wildlife, following case studies of infected escape and wild mink in Utah in 2020(Mallapaty, 2021; Shriner, 2021; ProMed, 2020).
Global Health News
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Our Services
August 20, 2021

Indicators to monitor animal health and welfare of livestock in Switzerland

Switzerland’s livestock population has a favourable animal health and welfare status, but how can animal health be quantified and monitored over time? Joining forces of several partner institutions, the Smart Animal Health project aimed to develop a method for the objective, systematic and reliable collection and evaluation of the health status of farm animals.
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Publications and Reports
August 16, 2021

Publication on ASF KAP study among Ukrainian backyard pig farmers

Backyard pig farmers are crucial partners in efforts to prevent and control ASF. SAFOSO led a survey in Ukraine to assess ASF knowledge, practices and skills of backyard farmers in four regions.
Publications and Reports
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People
June 14, 2021

People behind SAFOSO: Susanne Küker

Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Susanne Küker shares her story.
People
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Publications and Reports
June 1, 2021

Financial consequences for veterinarians due to reduced antimicrobial sales – an economic model

The excessive consumption of antimicrobials has become a major concern at the global level, and several studies have highlighted the link between antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance. Strategies such as the Swiss National Strategy “StAR” have been implemented to reduce the disposal of antimicrobials in farm animals. In Switzerland however, veterinarians make economic profit by disposing antimicrobials to farmers. A reduction of sales will therefore inevitably lead to a reduction in revenues for the veterinarian.
Publications and Reports
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Our Services
May 28, 2021

Successful pilot project for repetitive COVID-19 testing in the canton of Aargau, Switzerland supported by SAFOSO

From February to April, SAFOSO supported the canton of Aargau with its pilot project Repetitive Testing (ReTe) for SARS-CoV-2 in collaboration with IXORIS and other stakeholders.
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Our Services
May 7, 2021

Reinforcing Partnerships for African Swine Fever Capacity Development in the Asia-Pacific

Throughout the pandemic, African swine fever (ASF), a viral disease of pigs and wild boar has continued affecting countries and causing serious socio-economic consequences to the swine value chain especially farmers worldwide.
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People
March 25, 2021

People behind SAFOSO: Marco De Nardi

Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Marco De Nardi shares his story.
People
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People
March 24, 2021

Introducing Silja Griss, junior consultant at SAFOSO

Silja is very happy to join the team at SAFOSO for 6 months as an intern and to have the opportunity to gain more experience in the field of One Health. Currently, she is mostly supporting projects on COVID-19 as well as a few other projects on animal health.
People
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Our Services
March 23, 2021

Capacity building on ASF in South East Asia

SAFOSO and the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in partnership with USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) completed a 10-month project in December 2020 on African Swine Fever (ASF) capacity building for veterinarians in South East Asia. The project supported development of training material on ASF early detection and emergency response specific to the regional and country-level context.
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Our Services
March 19, 2021

COVID-19 Webinar Series for a Swiss Insurance Company

SAFOSO worked with a Swiss insurance company to develop and implement a webinar series to help their employees to breakdown the evolving information on the COVID-19 pandemic and what it means for them in the workplace.
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Global Health News
March 18, 2021

Avian Influenza: Past, present, and future

Currently, news of ongoing outbreaks of Avian Influenza (AI) in birds are hitting the media. Since November, 436 outbreaks in domestic birds and 1101 in wild birds have been reported across Europe, with serious economic consequences for poultry keepers. But what does that mean? Here is our summary of the past and present AI situation.
Global Health News
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People
November 20, 2020

People behind SAFOSO: Carla Stoffel

Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Carla Stoffel shares her story.
People
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Our Services
November 11, 2020

Webinar about antimicrobial resistance

SAFOSO organized a webinar on AMR for the insurance company CSS Health Insurance. The webinar helped attendees understand how antimicrobials, and the resistance they can induce in bacteria, impacts both their work and their daily lives. An important goal of the webinar is that participants are enabled to form their own opinion on this important health-threatening topic.
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October 30, 2020

Workshop compartmentalisation at the ECVPH Annual Conference 2020

How can trade be maintained when a country or region is facing transboundary diseases, such as African swine fever (ASF)? In the recent workshop at the European College of Veterinary Public Health (ECVPH) online annual conference, SAFOSO provided an overview on compartmentalization as an emerging business strategy in integrated food systems and emphasized the role of private industry and veterinary authorities in its implementation. The implementation of compartments is an initiative mainly driven by the industry that requires a close private-public partnership with the veterinary authorities.
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October 14, 2020

Tailored workshop on COVID-19 for a large agriculture cooperative

SAFOSO has organized a workshop on COVID-19/ SARS-CoV-2 for Fenaco, a large Swiss agriculture cooperative. The crisis management team set up by the Fenaco’s management is constantly monitoring developments relating to the coronavirus. Measures have been implemented based on the one hand on the official regulations and recommendations and on the other hand on the specific conditions in the company. Various emergency concepts for the event of an epidemic or pandemic have been prepared.
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September 23, 2020

SAFOSO and FAO Kick Off National-level Training on African Swine Fever in Cambodia

SAFOSO works in partnership with the FAO regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) on developing a series of trainings to build capacities on detection and response to African swine fever in the South East Asia region. The second phase of African swine fever (ASF) capacity building activities started with a training on ASF Detection and Emergency Response organised on September 7-10 in the province of Battambang, Cambodia. National-level veterinarians eagerly joined the activity and trained around 25provincial and district level veterinarians.
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People
September 2, 2020

People behind SAFOSO: Patrik Buholzer

Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Patrik Buholzer shares his story.
People
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Publications and Reports
August 26, 2020

Gap in consumer knowledge of antimicrobial resistance sources and transmission

The risk of transmission of antimicrobial resistance via raw poultry meat and the interaction with pets is underestimated by the general public, a new study co-authored by SAFOSO suggests.
Publications and Reports
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Our Services
August 18, 2020

Helping Ukraine improve trade with value-added agriculture products

Agriculture has traditionally been one of the most important sectors of the Ukrainian economy, given the high quality and availability of fertile land. But Ukraine’s agriculture potential has not been realized fully. An initiative to strengthen the dairy sector and the organic agriculture sector in Ukraine, is the Swiss-Ukrainian Program “Higher Value Added Trade from the Organic and Dairy Sector in Ukraine”. The Program started in August 2019 and will last until June 2023.
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Publications and Reports
August 5, 2020

Study reveals high revenues of veterinarians from antimicrobial prescriptions in veal calves

Most of the turnover (54%) veterinarians generate with the veal calf sector, comes from antimicrobial prescriptions a new studyco-authored by Isabel Lechner, Anaïs Léger and Katharina Stärk shows.
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July 7, 2020

SAFOSO partners with FAO on African swine fever training in Asia

SAFOSO developed and conducted a regional training on African swine fever with veterinarians in South East Asia in partnership with the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and was supported by USAID.
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June 29, 2020

Epidemiology for non-epidemiologists – e-learning course

The news is being flooded with perhaps unfamiliar epidemiological terms and concepts in coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are not an epidemiologist, this can be really confusing and prevent you from truly understanding the key messages. But it is not only because of COVID-19 that we have an understanding of epidemiology, think of all the other animal and human diseases that are affecting us today. Building on our expertise in epidemiology, SAFOSO now offers an e-Learning course Epidemiology for Non-Epidemiologists.
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People
June 24, 2020

People behind SAFOSO: Isabel Lechner

Who are the people behind SAFOSO? What inspires them and how do they contribute to solving animal health challenges? Isabel Lechner shares her story.
People
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Our Services
April 29, 2020

How can exotic animal diseases enter Europe and spread?

Modelling of how diseases enter and spread in a region can play an important role to predict dynamics of transboundary diseases. Outputs from modelling can contribute to better preparedness of authorities and rapid response to exotic diseases.
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April 22, 2020

Learn how to use metagenomics for antimicrobial resistance surveillance

How can metagenomics be used to survey antimicrobial resistance (AMR) globally and what are its challenges? A SAFOSO team has contributed to building a blended learning course (e-learning and a hands-on workshop) on the use of metagenomics to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In their recent publication in Frontiers in Public Health, co-authored by SAFOSO, provides an overview over the course structure, its contents and as well as participants’ insights. The course is now freely available as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
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Updates
April 7, 2020

An epidemic never comes alone

The world has been dealing with a number of epidemics lately. It has only been a few months ago that we have seen the images of pigs being slaughtered in China due to African swine fever. Avian influenza has also recently resurged in China. These epidemics are still ongoing, but are largely overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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April 6, 2020

What maps reveal - Spatial epidemiology analysis training in Ukraine

Emerging diseases and epidemics are a constant threat for humans and animals. Spatial analysis is a powerful tool for increasing our ability to investigate epidemiological patterns of these diseases and contribute to the development of more effective disease control plans. SAFOSO’s Marco De Nardi (Science Manager) is an expert in Spatial Epidemiological Analysis. As part of SAFOSO’s capacity-building service, he supports clients worldwide to gain the skills needed to use spatial analysis tools and methods.
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March 18, 2020

COVID-19 – what is the role of animals?

As the number of human coronavirus infections continues to rise world-wide, there is some uncertainty about the role animals play in the COVID-19 virus epidemic. In this article, we try to summarize and interpret the available information in this rapidly evolving situation.
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Our Services
November 29, 2019

Climate change and One Health – a complex network of interactions

SAFOSO has conducted a pre-study for the Swiss Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office on climate change and its impact on ‘One Health’. Our task was to look at the complex network of causes and effects originating from the various aspects of climate change and ultimately impacting animal health, animal welfare, food safety and public health. As well, we studied and summarized the literature and identified knowns and unknowns in this broad field.
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October 8, 2019

Raw milk monitoring program in Moldova

SAFOSO experts Manon Schuppers and Marco De Nardi travelled to Moldova from 23-26 September 2019 to finalize discussions with national stakeholders about the design of a national raw milk monitoring program.
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Updates
October 4, 2019

ECVPH Graduation

Former SAFOSO resident Anaïs Léger (center) received her diploma from the European College of Veterinary Public Health yesterday in Edinburgh. Congratulations!
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Our Services
August 20, 2019

Evaluation of mandatory notification of antimicrobial usage

The German Ministry of Food and Agriculture published its report on the evaluation of the mandatory notification of antimicrobial usage in selected livestock species. SAFOSO contributed to this report through the organization of focus group discussions and online surveys among farmers and veterinarians and by coordinating the preparation of the final report integrating evidence from different sources.
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Updates
August 2, 2019

Patrik Buholzer is joining SAFOSO

SAFOSO is happy to announce that Patrik Buholzer is joining our company as Director from 1 August 2019.
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July 5, 2019

Closing of Milk Safety Project in Ukraine

On 26 June 2019 the final Steering Committee Meeting of SAFOSO's Milk Safety Project took place in Ukraine. The project supported public and private stakeholders in Ukraine in establishing a comprehensive, risk-based control system for raw milk safety and quality.
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Publications and Reports
March 8, 2019

New publication

A new article with the contribution of SAFOSO authors has been published.
Publications and Reports
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November 29, 2018

EFFORT International Conference: How to control antimicrobial resistance in the food chain

The EFFORT Project (2013-2018) ended last November with the EFFORT International Conference (26th-28th November, Utrecht).
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Updates
November 17, 2018

Assuring food safety in a globalised world – are we ready?

SAFOSO Director Katharina Stärk was honoured to be one of the plenary speakers at ISVEE15, Chiang Mai, Thailand, in early November 2018. The title of her presentation was “Assuring food safety in a globalised world – are we ready?”
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October 5, 2018

The 3rd Annual Conference of the Swiss-Ukrainian Project “Establishment of a risk-based food safety control system in the dairy value chain in Ukraine”

On 3 – 4 October 2018, about 180 participants from the public and private dairy sector from across Ukraine and a delegation from the Moldovan dairy sector attended the 3rd Annual Project Conference.
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October 1, 2018

Evaluation of GF-TAD

The Global Framework for Transboundary Animal Diseases (GF-TADs), a joint activity of FAO and OIE, was recently evaluated. The evaluation was led by SAFOSO team member Katharina Stärk.
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August 21, 2018

One Health evaluation of a Danish research centre UC-CARE

As part of the NEOH project, SAFOSO completed and published the evaluation of the University of Copenhagen Research Centre for Control of Antibiotic Resistance (UC-CARE), a 4-year research consortium in Denmark.
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January 15, 2018

SAFOSO approved for providing specialist training in veterinary public health

As part of a consortium consisting of the Vetsuisse Faculties of the Universities of Bern and Zurich, the training programme offered by SAFOSO is approved as preparing for the specialist exam conducted under the guidelines of the European College of Veterinary Public Health (https://www.ecvph.org/residency-and-training).
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