A Generic Action Plan against the Invasion of the EU by an Emerging Pathogen in Wildlife - A WildTech Perspective

Bénédicte Béneult, Alexandre Ciliberti, Marc Artois


In recent years, several animal diseases caused major crisis within the European Union, for example: Foot and mouth disease, Avian Influenza, Bluetongue. Over the years , the European Union and its member states set up several management tools, including surveillance, notification process, diagnostics and contingency planning in order to contain, control and eradicate animal diseases.

Wildlife plays a growing role in the origin of zoonotic and livestock diseases. In wild populations the setting up of similar management tools can be complicated because of the difficulties to collect information on wild animal, to know the government structure in charge of wildlife and to follow the evolution of the disease in the population. Nevertheless an emerging or re-emerging disease in wildlife could have dramatic consequences threatening domestic animals or human health.

A generic action plan for the control of wildlife infections has to be integrated in tools and organizations already in place for the containment, control and eradication of domestic animal diseases and zoonoses. We present a tentative generic plan based on European and International institutions guidelines, bringing together legal surroundings, financial resources, governance system, material resources, procedures and methods required, the instructions of the coordination, cooperation and communication. This action plan is designed to be functional, easy to read and use; it should allow, in time of crisis, to quickly contact relevant people and act efficiently. The success in the disease control and eradication will rely on the consultation and the coordination of different bodies concerned by wildlife management in Europe. Then, the existence of such a tool should be a real progress in case of emerging disease outbreaks in wildlife.


Wildlife, Emerging Disease, European Union, Contingency Plan

Full Text:



Artois M., Delahay R., et al., (2001): Control of Infectious Diseases of Wildlife in Europe. Veterinary Journal. 162 (2), 141-152.

Artois, M., J. Blancou, et al. (2011): Sustainable control of zoonotic pathogens in wildlife: how to be fair to wild animals? Revue scientifique et technique (OIE) 30(3): 733-743.

Artois, M., Fromont,E. et Hars, J. (2003) : La faune sauvage, indicateur possible du risque de maladie émergente. Epidémiol. et santé animale 44: 21–31.

Béneult B, Ciliberti A, et Artois M., (2013): Preparedness against intrusion of exotic or previously unnoticed pathogens in the EU: A generic action plan. WildTech Deliverable 6.6: 66 pages.

Blancou, J., Artois, M. et al. (2009): Options for the Control of Disease 1: Targeting the Infectious or Parasitic Agent. Management of Disease in Wild Mammals. Delahay, R. et al. (Ed.). Springer. Tokyo, Berlin, Heidelberg, New-York: 97-120.

Carter, S. Roy, S. et al. (2009): Options for the Control of Disease 2: Targeting Hosts. Management of Disease in Wild Mammals. Delahay, R. et al. (Ed). Springer. Tokyo, Berlin, Heidelberg, New York,: 121-146.

Ciliberti A, Gavier-Widen, D. et al.., (2013): Prioritisation of wildlife infections to be targeted in European surveillance programmes: expert-based risk analysis in the frame of the WildTech project (2009-2013). WildTech Deliverable 6.4: 67 pages.

European Commission, (2003): Directive 2003/85/EC : Council Directive 2003/85/EC of 29 September 2003 on Community measures for the control of foot-and-mouth disease repealing Directive 85/511/EEC and Decisions 89/531/EEC and 91/665/EEC and amending Directive 92/46/EEC (Text with EEA relevance.) OJ L 306, 22.11.2003, p. 1–87.

European Commission, (2012): Commission Implementing Decision of 27 November 2012 amending Annexes I and II to Council Directive 82/894/EEC on the notification of animal diseases within the Community (notified under document C (2012) 8518). http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2012:329:0019:01:EN:HTML (21 January 2014)

FAO, (1991): Guidelines for strengthening animal health services in developing countries. FAO, Rome. http://www.fao.org/docrep/u2200e/u2200e00.htm (21 January 2014)

Fauna Europaea, URL= http://www.faunaeur.org/ (13 January 2014)

FCEC (Food Chain Evaluation Consortium), (2012): Evaluation of the EU rapid response network, crisis management and communication capacity regarding certain transmissible animal diseases, Final Report. http://ec.europa.eu/food/animal/diseases/strategy/pillars/docs/23_final_report_eu_rapid_response.pdf (21 January, 2014)

Gortázar, C., E. Ferroglio, et al. (2007): Diseases shared between wildlife and livestock: a European perspective. European Journal of Wildlife Research 53(4): 241-256.

OIE, (2012): Guidelines for fight against animal diseases. http://www.oie.int/en/about-us/key-texts/basic-texts/fight-against-animal-diseases/ (21 January 2014)

Ward, A., VerCauteren, K., et al. (2009): Options for the Control of Disease. 3: Targeting the Environment. In Delahaye, R. et al. (Ed) Management of Disease in Wild Mammals. Springer. Tokyo Berlin Heidelberg New York: 147-168.

Wobeser, G.A. (2007): Disease in Wild Animals. Springer-Verlag. Berlin- Heidelberg. 393p.