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.
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:
The project group focusing on feed consist of:
This work started in February 2020.
The project group focusing on animal health and zoonotic diseases consist of:
This work will start in August 2020.
The work packages addressing plant health and biodiversity have not started yet.
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.