The National Veterinary Institute, SVA, is a Swedish national authority that strives for good animal and human health, a good environment and sustainable food production.
Good animal health promotes public health
We are being exposed to increasing demands that livestock production is done under ethically acceptable conditions and that foodstuffs are produced from healthy animals free from contagious agents, growth hormones, pharmaceutical residues and other alien substances.
The most important role of the National Veterinary Institute, SVA, is to align the activities towards contagious and other serious infectious diseases of animals that imply a threat to supplies of animal foodstuffs, that lead to losses for the production of animals, that concern pets, or involve diseases that can be transferred to humans, i.e., zoonoses.
Diagnostic capacity for the most feared contagious animal diseases is available at SVA. Control programmes are conducted in cooperation with animal owner organisations and the relevant authorities.
Increased resistance to antibiotics is one of the major threats to public health in the future. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria and resistance genes can spread between animals and humans via, e.g., foods, feed, water and manure. At SVA we are conducting research into this complex, and are monitoring the resistance situation. Protection against infection in the biocycle is also a sector increasing in importance.
Research and Development is of the utmost importance for solving the tasks facing the SVA in both long-term and short-term perspectives. Interaction between routine diagnostics and research makes it possible to develop new products and technologies for diagnosing contagious diseases in animals. An example of product development at SVA is the field of animals, where results are obtained immediately on-site.
SVA also carries the overall responsibility for the availability of veterinary vaccines in Sweden. As far as possible, we keep a complete assortment in stock.
Sweden is well prepared
Contagious and other serious infectious diseases of animals may imply a threat to both animal and human health. SVA's most important task is to be well-prepared in dealing with these diseases by rapid and reliable diagnosis in order to establish and limit possible outbreak, to prevent the spread of infection, and to limit economic losses.
The legislation of epizootics inlcudes regulations on how controls and reporting are to be done with regard to notifiable diseases thar are not normally found in Sweden. The staff at SVA are available on a round-the-clock basis for advice and diagnostics.
Veterinarians and animal-owners are key groups in detecting diseases. An important part of Sweden's national preparedness is to ensure that all veterinarians active in the livestock production sector are given continuous education and information on the diseases covered by the legislation on epizootic diseases in order that they can, as early as possible, report on suspected contagious diseases.
Zoonoses, diseases that can spread from animals to humans, are increasing in importance. SVA has the role of analysing and collecting statistics on these contagious agents. Example of zoonoses are Salmonella, EHEC, rabies, etc. Normally, the route of infection is via food or via animals that often are not ill themselves but simply carriers of infection.
In the biocycle, where organic waste is processed from farms to fork, it is important not to forget that any contagious cycles present must be broken. Examples are return of sludge, latrine and similar products to agricultural land, where animals may become contagious and infected.