While animal health crises will always recur, evaluation highlighted the need to focus policy more on disease prevention and effective risk management. Recent international developments clearly show that the emphasis is shifting away from crisis response to building systems and capacity to prevent and respond to future outbreaks of infectious diseases more effectively.
The key issue is how to build a more robust animal health system, based on good governance and compliant with international (e.g. OIE) standards, with a shift from short-term to long-term intervention, while facilitating a multi-sectoral approach and partnerships with all relevant stakeholders.
Another challenge is to reduce the impact of animal diseases as far as possible by enhancing disease awareness, preparedness, surveillance and emergency response systems at national and EU level.
In particular, to what extent should these activities be governed by EU legislation and be complemented by Member States’ legislation or by non-legislative tools?
In this context a number of issues have been identified. Some relate to the general policy approach, others to specific legal acts/diseases. Some are meant to be addressed by stakeholders as part of their responsibility to prevent animal diseases, others relate to the EU and competent authorities’ responsibilities.
To ensure that all the relevant stakeholders act appropriately to prevent disease, responsibilities have to be clarified, training should be encouraged and incentives should be provided.