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Fighting against zoonoses and illegal pet trade. The Biocrime project

Fighting against zoonoses and illegal pet trade. The Biocrime project

Posted: 5 April 2018 Last update: 10 April 2018

Biocrime is a cross-border project financed by the European Union through the Regional Development Fund – Interreg VA Italy Austria, which provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges to fight against zoonoses and illegal pet trade.

Zoonoses are human diseases resulting from the transmission of infection from an animal reservoir, as in the case of rabies. The spread of these diseases in the human population is often linked to human activity, and the illegal trade of pet animals (mainly dogs and cats) is among one of the most important routes of transmission.

Illegally imported animals which are then sold on the black market may come from infected areas and not be checked from the health point of view, posing a serious threat to animal and human health. Besides, the illegal pet trade causes needless suffering to animals, results in severe animal welfare problems and increases the mortality rate.


The project

The Biocrime project wants to reduce the zoonotic risk by fighting the illegal pet trade through the development of a joint strategy of action involving both police forces and health officers. They are the key players against the illegal trade of pets and upholders for implementing prevention programs relating to human health and welfare of animals. This approach also has a great impact on food safety and on preventing fraudulent trading.

Biocrime is a cross-border project financed by the European Union through the Regional Development Fund – Interreg VA Italy Austria, which provides a framework for the implementation of joint actions and policy exchanges to fight against zoonoses and illegal pet trade.

 

The Biocrime project intends to implement activities specifically planned to reduce the illegal pet trade, including training courses for public officers, the development of joint operative protocols, the implementation of a digital web platform for sharing data, epidemiological surveillance of the confiscated animals and setting up education projects targeting the citizens of the two Regions.

The network

Biocrime was launched in 2017 and will end in July 2019. It is coordinated by the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and supported by:

Diagnostica virologia

The IZSVe participates in the Biocrime project performing tests on samples (blood, faeces, skin) from animals identified by cross border authorities, in particular to guarantee rabies diagnosis and surveillance and to investigate the presence of other pathogens and/or parasites.

The eligible area of the cross border program encompasses the Friuli Venezia Giulia region and Carinthia (Austria), the border area between Italy and Austria that acts as transit route but is also a passage for illegal trafficking of pets from Eastern European countries. The main aim of the program is to strengthen the Italian-Austrian transboundary cooperation to facilitate the existing relationship and the activities between:

  • local authorities, to better supervise the illegal trafficking of pets and manage seizure protocols;
  • diagnostic laboratories, for an effective epidemiological surveillance of zoonoses and the harmonization of laboratory protocols.


The role of the IZSVe

The Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale delle Venezie participates in the Biocrime project by offering the diagnostic support of the IZSVe laboratories jointly with the peripheral laboratories located in Udine (SCT4 – Friuli Venezia Giulia).

The diagnostic activity includes performing tests on samples (blood, faeces, skin) from animals identified by cross border authorities, in particular to guarantee rabies diagnosis and surveillance and to investigate the presence of other pathogens and/or parasites.

For further information you may visit the official Biocrime project website: www.biocrime.org

Visit Biocrime website »
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