Brussels, 23 Jan 2003
The results of a EU funded project on an integrated veterinary surveillance system and are in the process of being commercialised across Europe.
Eurovet, an EU funded project under the Fourth Framework Programme, is a web-based modular application framework that supports animal and herd registration, tracking and tracing, animal health surveillance and veterinary public health monitoring. It was set up in 1995 to identify the requirements for a harmonised livestock movement control system for the European Union. The project was then extended in 1997 to cover livestock health, multiple species and fraud prevention.
More recently, the Fifth Framework Programme funded hands-on trials in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Iceland. The total budget for the Eurovet Trial project was 2.29 million euro.
Since its completion, the project has been commercialised by the Ireland based e-blana enterprise group as part of a wider range of solutions and services known as Euro-Trace Inter-Trace.
Speaking to CORDIS News, the main coordinator of Eurovet, Hugh Wiseman, described the lessons learnt from hands-on trials. 'In order to meet individual countries requirements, certain aspects of the Eurovet system had to be adapted keeping in mind the main objective which was the development of a generic system.' According to Mr Wiseman, a more commercially viable system resulted from the trials.
By demonstrating the Eurovet system, the project has promoted its wider uptake and assisted administrations with the implementation of EU legislation and policies in associated countries, Member States and third countries.
Euro-Trace Inter-Trace is a strategic framework of services and solutions brought together in response to one of the most important issues of commercial and public life: the ability to rapidly, accurately and credibly trace animals and food produce back to source.
Speaking to CORDIS News, Mervin Taylor, development manager for e-blana, outlined the impetus of Euro-Trace Inter-Trace. 'We are taking the work of Eurovet and placing it in a wider context.'
Following the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK in 2001, the food sector was considerably damaged and consumer confidence plummeted. It is this, according to Mr Taylor, which has 'put animal welfare and total traceability on the agenda.'
There is growing awareness about the shortcomings of existing national stand-alone systems among policy makers. Euro-Trace Inter-Trace responds to this with a group of open web enabled services, which can work in a global environment to address traceability in the food chain. The fundamental basis for such an initiative is to avoid disease, fraud and to ensure food health and safety.
Mr Taylor highlighted two slogans 'Local production for local consumption' and 'traceability from farm to fork' to indicate the way in which the policy agenda is developing.
As Mr Taylor also pointed out, total traceability is logistically an enormous task consisting of many complex layers. It requires an intelligent open and integrated system, which is capable of linking to laboratories, tracking health records of animals and tracing every ingredient found in a foodstuff.
Effective and efficient traceability systems can provide market advantage to countries; companies and producers because it is through total traceability that public confidence in products can be developed and maintained. ' Whether they are guarding public confidence in the quality of our food or reinforcing accountability as a fraud detection and deterrence mechanism, traceability systems are an essential building block of modern trade and public administration.'
Mr Taylor believes that the Euro-Trace Inter-Trace is 'delivering to Europe, an important asset for the European Union. 'e-blana is cooperating with other companies in the Euro-Trace Inter-Trace strategic alliance to develop a framework of solutions and services around the traceability of livestock and food produce.'
Representatives from Euro-Trace Inter-Trace are meeting with representatives from DG Research to explore the potential of their plans and initiatives in the context of the Sixth Framework Programme.
For further information about Euro-Trace Inter-Trace, please visit the following web address: