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SAFOSO approved for providing specialist training in veterinary public health

15 January 2018

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). We currently have two residents in training, Anais Leger (https://www.linkedin.com/in/ana%C3%AFs-l%C3%A9ger-0a6b2878/) and Violeta Munoz-Gomez (https://www.linkedin.com/in/violeta-mu%C3%B1oz-g%C3%B3mez90/).

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Paper in Frontiers in Veterinary Science

06 November 2017

As part of the ASF outreach project, SAFOSO published a paper in Frontiers in Veterinary Science describing the implementation of a regional training program on African Swine Fever in the Caucasus Region (Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Georgia).  The project team implemented public outreach programs to train veterinarians in the partner countries to accurately and rapidly identify ASF activity and report it to international veterinary health agencies.

The paper can be found here: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2017.00164/full

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IQC and SAFOSO AG join forces

25 October 2017

Integrated Quality Consulting (IQC; www.iqc-china.com) and SAFOSO AG (www.safoso.com) have decided to join forces and become corporate associates of each other. IQC is a Shanghai-based consulting company with a mixed Chinese and German team that is specialized on tailored approaches towards the specific needs of all players in the food supply chain from raw materials, further processing, distribution, retail, and food service, as well as international food procurement companies. Their clients include producers, procurement organizations, investors and standard owners, among others. As IQC is focused on post-harvest food safety and quality assurance, the partnership with SAFOSO and its pre-harvest competencies in animal health and food safety allows clients in China and elsewhere to be served in a comprehensive manner with all aspects from stable to table covered by our joint expertise.

IQC and SAFOSO look very much forward to serving our first joint clients. Please contact us for further information.

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Second annual project conference "Establishment of a risk-based food safety control system in the dairy value chain in Ukraine"

16 October 2017

Manon Schuppers held an opening speech in Kiev on 27 September 2017 at the second annual conference of SAFOSO's project "Establishment of a risk-based food safety control system in the dairy value chain in Ukraine". She highlighted the significant progress that the Ukrainian dairy sector has made over the last years to improve quality and safety of raw milk, but also underlined the challenges that still lie ahead. Only through close collaboration between stakeholders, mutual trust and individual responsibility can these challenges be overcome. The annual conference marked the near-completion of the second project year and was attended by approximately 150 participants. Nineteen presentations divided over four thematic sessions were given by presenters from Ukrainian authorities, research institutes, dairy industry, international projects and international organizations. For more detailed information about our project, please visit our project website http://www.safoso.com.ua/eng.php?file2=about-eng.

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New paper about assessment of biosecurity measures

24 August 2017

As part of the SPARE project (https://www.spare-europe.eu/), SAFOSO published a paper in Vaccine about the assessment of biosecurity measures to prevent the incursion of emerging diseases in Europe and particularly rabies, CSF and bluetongue. The assessment is based on an expert opinion conducted in UK, Italy and Switzerland. This work is meant to support countries in revising surveillance and control strategy by providing a new methodology.
The paper can be found here.

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SAFOSO hosts 10 Ukrainian milk processors

11 July 2017

From 14-20 May 2017, SAFOSO hosted a delegation of representatives of Ukrainian milk processing companies that we have been working with for the past 1.5 years (more information about the project is available here). The agenda of the mission included several different visits and meetings including, among others, small and medium sized milk producers, small cheese factories, a large dairy processor, cantonal veterinary and food safety services and a laboratory specialized in milk analysis.

We are happy to report that the mission was a very useful, pleasant and rewarding experience. Based on the feedback that we have received, participants achieved the critical objectives of:

  • having a clear understanding of what Swiss milk processors do to assure that the milk they receive is safe and of good quality
  • knowing the procedures in place to guarantee the existence of a non-interrupted cold chain from the milk producer to the processing company
  • learning good production practices related to quality and safety at the level of both small and medium/large milk producers
  • understanding what the Swiss milk industry is doing to keep a good and trustful image towards the consumers
  • learning about the relationship between the Swiss milk processing companies and the cantonal veterinary and food safety authorities
  • acquiring knowledge about the regular procedures taken in cases of non-compliance of milk producers (e.g. presence of antimicrobial residues in milk samples)

Our participants returned to Ukraine with a very clear understanding of the importance of their individual decisions and actions in relation to the quality of the raw milk that they buy, and subsequently, the quality of the products that they sell. We look forward to seeing the lessons learnt during this mission become a reality in Ukraine in the near future, with our full support!

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Competencies for government veterinary services of the future

24 April 2017

A communication by Katharina Stärk and colleagues summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of current organisational structures in government veterinary services, as well as future technical, financial and societal challenges and related necessary competencies for government veterinary services of the future as discussed by an expert panel at ISVEE2015. The authors conclude that staff skills in veterinary services need to be continuously updated, and it is essential to establish cross technical collaboration with other sectors including food safety, public health and environment.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167587716306341

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Final report documenting impact of Mongolian Animal Health Project

16 February 2017

The Animal Health Project in Mongolia was implemented from 2012 to 2016. SAFOSO was one of the leading partners helping to implement this project, with our main focus being prevention and control of foot and mouth disease (FMD) and curriculum development for the Mongolian School of Veterinary Medicine. A final report has recently come out summarizing the achievements and impact of the project.

Throughout the project, SAFOSO has been working with the relevant Mongolian authorities to design and implement a national FMD prevention and control plan. The plan was ultimately approved through an Order of the Ministry of Industry and Agriculture and in 2016 Mongolia's FMD control program has also been endorsed by the OIE. A particular strength is the new, science-based and risk-based approach towards FMD surveillance, which has already helped lifting trade bans. The surveillance techniques that SAFOSO helped establish are now also being applied to other diseases. SAFOSO has also laid the basis for the development and implementation of a veterinary laboratory information and management system, linking together the central laboratory and 21 provincial and municipal laboratories. This system is an important tool to, among others, increase quality assurance and information exchange regarding disease occurrence throughout the country.

A significant achievement of the project has also been the revision of the veterinary curriculum for undergraduate students, because this will shape the capacity and skills of future generations of practicing veterinarians and veterinary officials. SAFOSO supported the process of defining Day 1 competences (D1C) of newly graduates students, and these D1C have been the basis for all further work in the curriculum revision.

For more information about the project and its achievements, the final report is available here.

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