Topics A-Z

Animal Health Animal Health

Animal health is a key part of EFSA’s mandate. The concept of animal health covers not only animal diseases but also the critical relationship between animal welfare, animal health and food safety. EFSA is uniquely placed to take an integrated approach to animal health as its remit covers the safety of the whole food chain.

Animal Welfare Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is an important part of EFSA’s remit. The safety of the food chain is indirectly linked to the welfare of animals, particularly animals farmed for food production, particularly due to the close connection between animal welfare, animal health and food-borne diseases.

Antimicrobial Resistance Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobials are substances used to kill micro-organisms or to stop them growing and multiplying. They are commonly used to treat infectious diseases in human and veterinary medicine for instance in the form of antibiotics.

BSE and other Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) BSE and other Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) are a family of diseases that affect the brain and nervous system of humans and animals, characterised by a degeneration of brain tissue giving it a sponge-like appearance.

Decontamination of carcasses Decontamination of carcasses

Decontamination treatments involve applying a chemical substance to animal carcasses during the slaughter process to reduce contamination by microbes such as salmonella or campylobacter. Under EU rules, all food manufacturers need to follow good farm to fork hygiene practices to ensure pathogenic microbes are not present in foods of animal origin.

Feed Feed

Safe animal feed is important for the health of animals, the environment and for the safety of foods of animal origin. There are many examples of the close link between the safety of animal feed and the foods we eat.

Food-borne diseases Food-borne diseases

Food-borne diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, or their toxins present in contaminated foods Many microbes of this sort are commonly found in the intestines of healthy food producing animals. The risks of contamination are present from farm to fork and need to be controlled in different ways.

New influenza A (H1N1)

EFSA is following the new influenza A virus outbreak (initially referred to as ‘swine flu’) first reported in humans in Mexico and in the USA and notified to the World Health Organization.

Q fever Q fever

Q fever is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Coxiella burnetii that affects both animals and humans.