Welcome to STOC free

Aim STOC free

To develop and validate a new framework (STOC free: Surveillance Tool for Outcome-based Comparison of FREEdom from infection) that enables a transparent and standardised comparison of confidence of freedom for control programmes of both non-regulated and regulated diseases in the EU.

Summary STOC free

In 2016, a consortium of eight partners from six European countries was formed to analyse heterogenous disease control programs between member states and to develop methods to compare these disease control programs. The consortium applied for a project grant at EFSA, which was awarded (GA/EFSA/AFSCO/2016/01-03). 
The project was called “STOC free - A Surveillance analysis tool for outcome-based comparison of the confidence of FREEdom generated by control or eradication programmes” and started on 09/03/2017.
In the STOC free project, the partners collaborated to construct the generic framework to allow for standardised and harmonised comparison of the output of different control programmes (CPs) for cattle diseases that are not regulated by the EU. The framework allows the integration of heterogeneous data and results in standardised and comparable outputs (Van Roon et al., 2019). During this project, BVD was chosen as a case disease because of the large variation in both programme design and prevalence that exists between EU member states (MS). The framework was designed and optimised using pilot-scenarios describing the CPs in each of the consortium partner countries. Thereafter, information about BVDV CPs, combined with test specifications and demographic context information, formed the basis of further case studies in which the developed methods were applied and optimised in the consortium MS1. Finally, advantages and disadvantages and possible generalisation to other cattle diseases of the developed methodology were discussed.
The STOC free model can be used to determine the confidence of freedom from infection that has been achieved in disease CPs, in support of an ongoing assessment of progress towards output-based standards as outlined in the EU Animal Health Law. With this information, and as required, further CP actions can be taken to mitigate the risks of persistence and (re-)introduction on the probability of freedom from infection. 
The project officially ended in December 2021 but the methodology will be further developed in other projects, e.g. SOUND control (https://sound-control.eu/)

1 When the project was started, BVDV was not regulated by the EU. This has changed by the COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) 2020/689 of 17 December 2019.