Avian infl uenza is a serious and easily transmitted disease caused by influenza A virus. It results in major losses worldwide to the poultry industry. During the last years, life-threatening zoonotic infections have been observed in humans and there is a danger that a derivative of the avian infl uenza virus might give origin to a new devastating human influenza A virus pandemic. Aquatic birds, waders and gulls are natural hosts of infl uenza A virus and may spread the virus effectively in their faeces. In this survey, 319 faecal samples from Finnish wild birds were collected for virus isolation in embryonated eggs in the summer of 2003. All samples were negative for infl uenza A virus. However, because of a small number of samples, it cannot be concluded that avian infl uenza would not occur in Finnish bird populations.
We present the principles of portfolio work and describe the specific features of a professional development portfolio as applied in the specialization training of veterinarians in small animal diseases, equine diseases and production medicine. Each specializing veterinarian follows her/his individual study path and consequently has to take responsibility for her/his progress. Through compiling a portfolio, the specialist trainee becomes aware of everyday practice, how she/he is progressing professionally, what she/he masters and what is still unfamiliar, and which are the challenges for further development. Well-defi ned instructions and supportive guidance facilitate the start of the portfolio work and the conscious refl ection on learning from practice. Support and feedback from the supervisors and peers are important to help the specialist trainee become an expert. At the end of the training, the specializing veterinarian can demonstrate what she/he has learned and what are her/his strengths.