Bìol. Tvarin, 2019, volume 21, issue 2, pp. 29–31


J. J. Hodnik1, J. Starič1, J. Ježek1, M. Ocepek1, I. Toplak1, T. Knific1, G. J. Gunn2, I. Santman-Berends3, C. Correia-Gomes2

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1University in Ljubljana, Veterinary faculty,
Gerbičeva ul. 60, Ljubljana, 1000, Slovenia
2SRUC Epidemiology Research Unit,
An Lòchran, Inverness Campus, Inverness, IV2 5NA, UK
3Gezondheidsdienst voor Dieren,
Arnsbergstraat 7, Deventer, 7418 EZ, Netherlands

The European Union (EU) overviews the control, eradication and surveillance of many cattle diseases especially those that are detrimental to animal or human health, cause huge economic losses or are subjected to trade restrictions. Other cattle diseases are left to be controlled by each Member State (MS). However, these diseases can also cause economic losses, which are usually hidden at first glance, as they often have subclinical or chronic courses. Trade of live cattle can introduce those diseases into countries that have already eradicated or have never even had them. Therefore, there is a gap in knowledge of how different EU countries control each disease and what their current disease status is.

A team of 76 veterinarians, epidemiologists, statisticians, economists, sociologists, stakeholders etc. from 30 different countries have come together to participate in an action called Standardizing output-based surveillance to control non-regulated diseases of cattle in the EU (SOUND control) CA17110 funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology). The aim of the project is to gather information about the different control programmes and produce an output-based framework. Five working groups have been formed. Work group 1 (WG1) aims to gather information on existing control programmes for non-EU regulated cattle diseases in participating countries and produce a list of relevant stakeholders. The focus is on diseases not listed under categories A or B in the new European Animal Health Law. WG2 aims to identify which data are required to serve as input for an output-based framework, and to assess the data availability and quality for each country. WG3 aims to find methods that enable output-based comparison of different control programmes, identify gaps and also evaluate cost-effectiveness, social acceptability and generalizability of those methods. WG4 is entrusted with the development of a joint research agenda about possibilities to combine heterogeneous inputs into an output-based framework that is applicable to a large number of non-regulated cattle diseases. Finally, WG5 will be responsible for the dissemination of knowledge achieved during the SOUND-control action to a wider audience and to encourage the incorporation of an output-base framework both on national and European level. The action has started in 2018 and will end in October 2022.

The objective of the SOUND control action is to explore and implement a widely adaptable output-based framework to substantiate the confidence of freedom and costs-effectiveness in current surveillance, control or eradication programmes for non-regulated cattle diseases in Europe. The results of this project will facilitate safe trade and support the improvement of disease control measures, which is of great importance for the EU agriculture since the cattle sector contributes one third to the total gross production value.


  1. COST: European cooperation in science and technology. Available at: http://www.cost.eu (accessed on April 1st, 2019).
  2. Council Directive 82/894/EEC on the notification of animal diseases within the Community, 1982. Available at: http://data.europa.eu/eli/dir/1982/894/oj
  3. Garcia A. B., Shalloo L. Invited review: The economic impact and control of paratuberculosis in cattle. Journal of Dairy Science, 2015, vol. 98, issue 8, pp. 50195039. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2014-9241
  4. Martins E.G., Oliveira P., Oliveira B. M., Mendonça D., Niza-Ribeiro J. Association of paratuberculosis sero-status with milk production and somatic cell counts across 5 lactations, using multilevel mixed models in dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science, 2018, vol. 101, issue 8, pp. 76387649. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13746
  5. MoU: Memorandum of Understanding for the implementation of the COST Action Standardizing output-based surveillance to control non-regulated diseases of cattle in the EU (SOUND-control) CA17110. Available at: https://www.cost.eu/actions/CA17110/#team (accessed on April 1st, 2019).
  6. Regulation (EU) 2016/429 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health (“Animal Health Law”).
  7. Santman-Berends I. M. G. A., Mars M. H., Van Duijn L., Van den Broek K. W. H., Van Schaik G. A quantitative risk-analysis for introduction of Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus in the Netherlands through cattle imports. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 2017, vol. 146, pp. 103–113. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.08.003

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