Jon Georg Dale asks Sweden and Finland to start mapping CWD incidents

Norway will collect around 20,000 samples of various deer species in 2017 to map the extent of the contagious Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Norway's Agriculture and Food Minister Jon Georg Dale says that it is high time that other countries follows Norway's example, and is calling on the EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis to ensure that countries bordering Norway now carry out a comprehensive deer animal mapping of their own.

– Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is contagious among animals, and it will be useless for Norway alone to run such a comprehensive mapping program, says Jon Georg Dale. 

Dale informed Andriukaitis during the Nordic Council of Ministers in Ålesund today that Sweden and Finland must soon respond with a similar plan. This is particularly important for Sweden, as animals freely pass our long, common border. 

Agriculture and Food Minister Jon Georg Dale believes it is high time that other countries follow Norway's example, and urges the EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis to prompt countries bordering Norway to carry out a comprehensive mapping of their deer animals as soon as possible.
Agriculture and Food Minister Jon Georg Dale believes it is high time that other countries follow Norway's example, and urges the EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis to prompt countries bordering Norway to carry out a comprehensive mapping of their deer animals as soon as possible. Credit: Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

Andriukaitis acknowledged Norway's efforts to stop spreading this disease. The EU has decided that neighboring countries, Sweden and Finland, will map any occurrence of CWD from 1.1.2018. The EU Commissioner very well understands Norway's impatience in this matter, and will discuss the issue with his advisors as soon as he returns to Brussels.

– I will discuss this with my advisors already this week. Then we will decide whether we will continue the mapping work this year already, was one of mr. Andriukaitis' statements. 

Wild reindeer.
Wild reindeer. Credit: Colourbox

In the talks with the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Dale emphasized that the Norwegian measures are dramatic, as they will constitute a reduction of the Norwegian wildlife stock by about 10 percent; but equally, they are necessary, to prevent the loss of all.

– If we are to eliminate this contagious disease, countries have to do their utmost to succeed. Here the EU Commission has a major responsibility to prompt member states to act, says Jon Georg Dale.