Consequences of importing roughage
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food and Environment (VKM) will assess the consequences of importing roughage, on plant health, animal health, public health and on biodiversity.
The Norwegian Environment Agency and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has commissioned VKM to perform the assessment.
The drought and heat wave during the summer of 2018 caused crop failures in many areas of Norway. Large volumes of hay, straw, silage and other types of roughage were imported to meet the needs of livestock producers. There are concerns that foreign roughage may carry pathogenic agents as well as alien organisms.
About the mandate
The Norwegian Environment Agency requests VKM to assess the probability of introducing alien organisms through imported roughage, and the potential effects on Norwegian biodiversity.
In addition, VKM will also assess measures that exporters, importers and users can apply to reduce risk.
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority requests VKM to assess the probability of transmitting contagions and disease to animals and humans through imported roughage. The probability of introducing quarantine pests will also be assessed.
The project is organized into four work packages. These are:
- Animal health and zoonotic diseases
- Plant health
Members of the project groups in VKM
The project group focusing on feed consist of:
- Håvard Steinshamn (Academic leader of the work package), Scientific Panel on Food
- Åshild Taksdal Randby, external Expert, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
- Tron Gifstad, VKM Secretariat
This work started in February 2020.
The project group focusing on animal health and zoonotic diseases consist of:
- Truls Nesbakken (Academic leader of the work package), Scientific Panel on Biological Hazards
- Kjetil Klaveness Melby, VKM member of the Panel on Biological Hazards
- Thea Benedicte Blystad Klem, external expert from the Norwegian Veterinary Institute
- Maria Stokstad, external expert from NMBU
- Siamak Yazdankhah, VKM Secretariat
- Dean Basic (Project Manager), VKM Secretariat
This work will start in August 2020.
The work packages addressing plant health and biodiversity have not started yet.
To be published in April 2021
Members from the Scientific Panels on Food, on Plant Health, on Animal Health and Welfare, on Microbial Ecology, on Biological Hazards and on Alien Organisms and Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) will be responsible for approving the report.
Publication is scheduled for April 2021.