News

2016 m. November 09 d.
Since mid-October of this year, the USA experts in Lithuania have carried out an audit of state control on egg products, which lasted two weeks. This audit is an important step towards the coordination of permits for the egg producing companies of our country to export their products to the USA. The audit evaluated the effectiveness of food safety and control systems in Lithuania. An American expert went deep into the implementation of control and quality assurance systems in the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), evaluated the competence of its territorial divisions as well as the control equivalence to the applicable requirements in the USA. In addition, the audit was performed at the Lithuanian company, manufacturing and intending to export egg products to the USA. In assessing the objectivity and performance of laboratory tests, the expert visited the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute. During the final meeting, while discussing the progress of the audit and the first results, the experts from the SFVS were informed that the preliminary assessment of this audit is positive. A final and harmonized audit report is expected in a few months. The negotiations with the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) at the Department of Agriculture in the USA due to the export of egg products were started in 2011 and were resumed in 2014. At the first stage of negotiations the necessary documentation and filled out questionnaires of equivalency were presented to the USA experts for their assessment. Over the past few years the information has been regularly updated, providing the latest data of state control on the egg products sector. One of the most important stages in the negotiations is the audit of compliance in Lithuania and its findings.
2016 m. November 09 d.
A meeting of Ministers for Agriculture and Heads of Veterinary Authorities of the Baltic Countries, Poland and neighbouring third countries on issues of African swine fever (ASF) took place in Poland. The European Commissioner for health and food safety Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis also participated at the meeting. Minister for Agriculture expressed her satisfaction that State Food and Veterinary Services of neighbouring countries work in close cooperation in their combat against ASF. In Minister’s words, with effective application of combat and prevention measures the disease is spreading at comparatively small distances in Lithuania. Furthermore, it was noted that, after the first ASF outbreak in commercial pig farms in our country in July 2014, outbreaks of the disease had been recorded in small farms only. This implied that larger pig rearing complexes had a fairly responsible attitude toward the application of biosafety measures. Minister also suggested simplifying the legal framework to be able to more promptly reallocate districts to other safety zones. In her words, when ASF outbreaks are recorded in non-commercial farms, protection zones are established around those farms and commercial complexes may fall within these zones. In such cases, they incur enormous losses because of restrictions applied. Deputy Director of the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) Dr Vidmantas Paulauskas presented to participants the ASF situation in Lithuania and measures applied to combat this contagious disease. Dr V. Paulauskas underlined that all the outbreaks detected in pig keeping places in Lithuania this year occurred in farm holdings, which irresponsibly of not fully implemented recommended biosafety requirements. Deputy Directors’ opinion was that the responsibility of pig rearers and their awareness of major requirements to be implemented had to be strengthened in our country. Participants of the meeting came to the conclusion that in order to be able to fight effectively this insidious disease close cooperation among all countries and joint coordination of actions is required. 18 ASF outbreaks in small-sized pig keeping places have been recorded in Lithuania this year and all the 74 pigs that were kept there have been destroyed. Moreover, 235 outbreaks in wild fauna have been recorded where the virus has been confirmed for 353 wild boars (291 carrions and 62 hunted wild boars).  
2016 m. November 07 d.
The ways how to address this issue were discussed by scientists, human doctors, veterinary doctors and pharmaceutical professionals, representatives of sectoral livestock associations on 27 October 2016 at the international conference "Challenges in Addressing the Issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)". The conference together with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) was organized by the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS), which has announced 2016 to be the year of fighting against bacterial resistance to antimicrobials. The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, while speaking at the conference, has noted: "The bacterial resistance to antimicrobials is one of the largest and continually growing threats to mankind. Unfortunately, for the general public it is so far unknown, incomprehensible and therefore not assessed, but due to this problem over 25 thousand patients are dying each year in Europe. Thus, without effective measures taken even in the nearest future, infections considered to be already forgotten can strike a new force for humanity and surgery might become unspeakably dangerous". According to the Commissioner, the fight against antimicrobial resistance is being regarded as one of the most important tasks by the European Commission (EC). The conference participants were presented to the updated EC action plan, which since 2017 will mobilize the funds and measures of the European Union (EU) to promote cutting-edge research and to support national plans to combat AMR. The fact that AMR is a difficult and complex issue, involving not only human and animal health, but also the entire food chain, was highlighted by all speakers of the conference. In addition, the importance was taken to the cooperation of human doctors and veterinarians as well as the necessity to encourage the responsible use of antimicrobials in both human and veterinary medicine, to promote innovative diagnostic microbiological testing for the need of these materials to be determined. At the same time it was acknowledged that the involvement of farmers and livestock producers' associations is not less important along with the participation of scientists in the formation and justification of the fight against antimicrobial resistance actions. It is admitted that a long-term national program or the strategy establishing concrete actions is the most effective means of promoting both the general public awareness of the problem and effectively reducing antimicrobial resistance. That is why, since the beginning of 2016 the SFVS has developed and started implementing a long-term action plan, including not only the use of antimicrobials control and monitoring, but also providing for specific actions to reduce the use of these materials in different livestock sectors. The participants of the conference were welcomed by the Minister of Agriculture Virginija Baltraitienė, Deputy Director of the Public Health Supervision Department in the Ministry of Health Dr. Audronė Astrauskienė, Representative of Chamber of Agriculture Darius Remeika and Acting Director of the SFVS Deividas Kliučinskas. The conference presentations were made by the Head of Bilateral International Relations Unit at the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety of the European Commission Dr. Koen Van Dyck, Team Leader in the Biological Hazards and Contaminants Unit at the European Food Safety Authority Dr. Ernesto Liebana Criado, President of the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe Dr. Rafael Laguens, Director of the Centre for Communicable Diseases and AIDS Prof. dr. Saulius Čaplinskas, Chancellor of the Veterinary Academy under the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences Prof. dr. Mindaugas Malakauskas and others. The experience and practical skills how to reduce the use of antimicrobials in the cultivation of farm animals (cattle, pigs, poultry) were presented by the representatives of associations and companies, private veterinarians.
2016 m. October 26 d.
On 27 October, the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) jointly with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are organising an international scientific conference “Challenges in Addressing the Issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Lithuania”. Experts, scientists and doctors are in unanimous accord that without solving the problem of antimicrobial resistance there is a serious threat that in the future there will be no effective antibiotics for treatment of certain infections whereas surgeries will become much more dangerous. Today, this is one of major issues of public health because new resistant types of microorganisms are developing very rapidly. Therefore, it is very important to encourage the public to appropriately use antimicrobial drugs to ensure the maximum effect of treatment and the slowest possible development of the antimicrobial resistance. At the conference “Challenges in Addressing the Issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Lithuania”, foreign and Lithuanian experts will present the situation of antimicrobial resistance in the fields of human and animal health, the strategy for decreasing the use of antibiotics, discuss possibilities for responsible use of antibiotics and scientific risk assessment in the AMR field. Guidelines for the use of antibiotics for milking cows in Denmark will be presented at the international conference as well as scientific research in the field of resistance of bacteria for antibiotics. Representatives of livestock farming will share their experience and challenges they face. The Programme
2016 m. September 30 d.
An advisory forum of the European Food Safety Authority has been organised in Bratislava this week. At this meeting, Lithuania has been represented by Ms Snieguolė Ščeponavičienė, Deputy-Director of the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute. During the forum, a declaration of intent was signed by representatives of food safety institutions of the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway and the EFSA’s Executive Director. Participants of the forum decided to strengthen the relations between EFSA and food safety institutions of European countries, to promptly share information on planned and accomplished risk assessments. The declaration also provides for joint efforts in identifying priority areas for scientific research and for building knowledge on potential risks in the area of food safety. The EFSA, in turn, has undertaken to make assessment of disparities in scientific opinions of competent institutions in different countries and to help resolve them, to provide advice, to promote the development of competences of scientists. “Such forums are very useful seeking to increase the dissemination of information about EFSA, to strengthen relations between food safety institutions of different countries. Participants of the meeting have unanimously agreed that in order to safeguard European citizens against unsafe food products an even more effective risk assessment, closer cooperation and timely notification of potential hazards is required “, – commented Ms S. Ščeponavičienė.  

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2016 m. November 09 d.

Since mid-October of this year, the USA experts in Lithuania have carried out an audit of state control on egg products, which lasted two weeks. This audit is an important step towards the coordination of permits for the egg producing companies of our country to export their products to the USA.

2016 m. November 09 d.

A meeting of Ministers for Agriculture and Heads of Veterinary Authorities of the Baltic Countries, Poland and neighbouring third countries on issues of African swine fever (ASF) took place in Poland. The European Commissioner for health and food safety Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis also participated at the meeting.

2016 m. November 07 d.

The ways how to address this issue were discussed by scientists, human doctors, veterinary doctors and pharmaceutical professionals, representatives of sectoral livestock associations on 27 October 2016 at the international conference "Challenges in Addressing the Issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)".

2016 m. October 26 d.

On 27 October, the State Food and Veterinary Service (SFVS) jointly with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) are organising an international scientific conference “Challenges in Addressing the Issue of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Lithuania”.

2016 m. September 30 d.

An advisory forum of the European Food Safety Authority has been organised in Bratislava this week. At this meeting, Lithuania has been represented by Ms Snieguolė Ščeponavičienė, Deputy-Director of the National Food and Veterinary Risk Assessment Institute.