FVE COVID: 1 september 2020

1. 9. 2020
FVE COVID: 1 september 2020

Posredujemo vam najnovejše novice FVE COVID: 1 september 2020

Vabljeni k branju:

Back to school, back to work. Many European children will start school today after having been at home for 5 months. Extra measures such as mask-wearing and handwashing have been introduced, teaching backlog needs to be caught up.  Everybody is holding its breath careful what the effect will be of this on the infection rates.

It is also back to work for the EU. Many important policy files need to be handled this fall by EU officials, this while many continue to work virtually.  Just to name a few: reforming the Common Agricultural Policy, getting European Parliament approval for the 2021-2027 budget, getting a Climate Law ready as promised by the Green Deal, securing COVID vaccines, reforming the Digital Services Act (whereas FVE wants online platforms to take up responsibility when advertising animals) and getting a Brexit deal done before the end of this year.  In other words, a full agenda, we hope no virus comes to mess it up.

Hereby the latest news:

  • COVID and Animals: the story continues regarding mink and ferrets
    • ​The Netherlands will stop all mink farming by March next year. Currently, 43 mink farms have been infected in the Netherlands and 2 million animals culled. On 24 August, the Dutch government decided ‘enough is enough’ and they will oblige all mink farms to stop activities. The government is now preparing the final law, and the conditions around the financial compensation to be given to mink farmers for which 180€ million has been set apart. 
    • A recent non-peer-reviewed study from Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University revealed that ferrets are not susceptible to COVID even if they are directly exposed for a prolonged time. Experimentally, using high doses, they were able to infect some ferrets. Guess the scientists doing the study did not expect this outcome as ferrets are of the same family as mink, which are without doubt very susceptible. It would, however, explain why we have not seen any case of natural infection of a ferret yet, while they are being commonly kept as pets and a few ferret farms exist. 
    • A recent non-peer-reviewed study of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Germany showed that experimentally it is possible to infect cattle. Six cattle were intranasally inoculated and kept together with 3 naïve in-contact animals. Low-level virus replication was found in 2 inoculated animals. In-contact animals did not become infected. While it is experimentally possible, you wonder how high the risk is in normal farming circumstances (rather low is my guess). 
    • Summary status for now:  natural infections have been demonstrated in dogs, cats, mink, wild felids (eg tiger). Experimental infections were possible in cattle and ferrets. Pigs, chicken and ducks could not be infected. See picture underneath.
  • COVID and AMR:

    • While COVID is a viral infection, still many patients have been given preventive or supportive treatment with antimicrobials. A recent publication looked into this. Due to the lack of data about antimicrobial use during this pandemic, the global impact on the emergence of new antimicrobial resistance is as yet unknown. Nevertheless, a marked increase in antimicrobial resistance can be expected. ‘This issue must be at the forefront of public health policymaking and planning to prepare for the potentially severe consequences for human and animal health and the environment’, the authors conclude.

  • COVID and meat processing plants: 

    • A poultry plant in California has been shut down after 358 employees tested positive for the coronavirus and 8 died of the disease. The Union is calling for a boycott of the company if certain conditions are not met, in addition to paid leave while the plant is closed, quarantine pay for those awaiting test results, and hazard pay of an additional two dollars per hour throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

    • Closer to home, around 400,000 chickens have to be culled in the UK due to COVID outbreaks in poultry processing plants.  The UK has only a limited number of large poultry slaughterhouses. If one has to close this can have significant impacts along the food chain and create welfare problems. 

  • COVID and One Health: Check out the new article written by our colleague Dr Maurizio Ferri: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/covid-19-one-health-maurizio-ferri

Seen the many important dossiers on our table this fall (AMR, revision Veterinary Medicine legislation, Vet Visits Animal Health Law, Animal Welfare, Farm to Fork strategy, vets in rural areas, etc), we aim to reduce the frequency of our COVID news, to allow more space for other EU veterinary related news. COVID allowing.  

Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE)
Avenue de Tervueren 12
B - 1040 Brussels
Tel.: +32 2 533 70 20