Contagious animal diseases
For the time being, the situation regarding contagious animal diseases in Finland is good. Finland is more or less free from animal diseases common in many other countries. When symptoms associated with a contagious disease are detected, samples are taken immediately in order to launch the investigation to identify the disease carrier as quickly as possible to prevent the disease from spreading. This applies to both wild and domestic animals, as many diseases can be passed between different species.
Reporting contagious animal diseases
I am a local authority veterinary officer. What should I do if I suspect a contagious animal disease?
Call the competent Regional Veterinary Officer. You do not need to confirm your suspicion, and instead you and the Regional Veterinary Officer can review the situation together. Instructions for testing and sampling, for example, are available if necessary.
Animal diseases are divided into categories in terms of how urgently they need to be reported to the Regional Veterinary Officer.
You should report
- any emerging, highly contagious and serious animal diseases immediately regardless of the time of day and
- other notifiable animal diseases no later than on the first business day after your discovery.
Government officials can get the telephone number of the on-call out-of-hours Regional Veterinary Officer from the Finnish Food Safety Authority.
Local authority veterinary officers have a duty to compile monthly notices of all confirmed cases of notifiable emerging and serious animal diseases in their area during the previous calendar month. You have until the 15th day of each month to file your notice with the competent Regional State Administrative Agency. (For example, you have until 15 February to report diseases confirmed in January.) A link to the contact information of Regional State Administrative Agencies’ registries is provided at the bottom of this page.
The Finnish Food Safety Authority has prepared a reporting template, which can be found on the Finnish Food Safety Authority’s website. The form includes a list of notifiable diseases. Your monthly notice should also identify any diseases that you have already reported to the Regional Veterinary Officer. A notice must be filed every month even if there have been no confirmed cases of notifiable diseases. In such circumstances, simply tick the box next to “No notifiable animal diseases during the month in question”. A link to the form is provided at the bottom of this page.
We collate all the monthly notices submitted to us and send a summary to the Finnish Food Safety Authority at the end of each month. Regional State Administrative Agencies also notify the Finnish Food Safety Authority whenever we are told about an emerging, highly contagious or serious animal disease. In the case of diseases that can be transmitted to humans, we notify the Infectious Disease Officer of the local health centre on the next working day at the latest. Alternatively, a local authority veterinary officer can notify the health centre.