The Danish National Veterinary Expert group for Classical and African swine fever has been active during
the last 10 years. The group is composed of experts in EU-legislation, in Danish pig production, in pig
diseases and in virology. The group has participated in a national workshop on CSFV surveillance, in
Contingency planning exercises and many efforts is done to keep the group updated on the current
international situation for swine fevers.
The group has been very stabile and especially the participation in a TAIEX workshop in 2005 in Romania
was a very good basis for fruitful collaboration. The experiences gained from the workshop had been found
very valuable during discussion of different epidemiological situations.
The obligations of the expert group are both to follow the progress of eradication but definitely also to take
care of some of the more time consuming discussions that could otherwise burden the Veterinary Authorities. Questions like “Could we be allowed to vaccinate the pigs in a Zoo if there is an outbreak?” and
other veterinary issues that may have a high interest in the press; but which do not matter that much in the
gross picture of the disease eradication could be handed over to the expert group.
Slide presentation and discussions
The presentation gave examples of activities carried out by the Classical swine fever and African swine
fever expert group during the last 10 years and how the expert group was kept alive. It was highlighted that
a “good chemistry” between the members of the expert group was considered to be important for the
success in “peacetime” and in a “war-time.
The importance of the annual meetings of National Reference Laboratories organized by the EU Community
Reference Laboratory for classical swine fever, Hannover was emphasized, as the meetings did not only
cover diagnostic laboratory methods, but also valuable information on disease transmission and current
The issue of independence was discussed. It was agreed that an expert should work as an independent
person. He/she is deemed to work in a personal capacity and, in performing the work, does not represent
any organization. The use of a declaration or statement of no conflict of interest was used in many
evaluation projects and could also be applied for work in expert groups. A potential conflict of interest
could occur, if an expert:
- Was employed by a private company involved in production and sales of vaccine or reagents used in
- Was employed by the livestock sector and involved in the determination of animal movement
- Is in any other situation that could cast doubt on his or her ability to evaluate disease control measures
The meeting was also informed about an article describing the activities of the Danish National Veterinary
Expert group for Classical and African swine fever published in the journal of the Danish Veterinary Medical Association.
Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers , 2013. , 23 p.