It was reported in Bangkok today that the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) have come together to lay out a strategy in the global fight against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
According to an FAO media release Wednesday, at the FAO/OIE global conference in Bangkok today, Hiroyuki Konuma, the FAO regional representative for Asia and the Pacific noted, "Recent FMD outbreaks around the globe demonstrate that animal diseases have no boundaries, can have a devastating impact and require a global response.”
This was demonstrated earlier this year with the outbreak in Egypt and the it posed on North Africa and the Middle East.
Although there is no threat to human health with FMD, the economic and food supply impact can be devastating.
The strategy put ahead by the two organizations is patterned after the successful eradication of rinderpest.
According to the FAO's chief veterinary officer, Juan Lubroth, “this was a joint effort by scientists, governments, donors, veterinarians and farmers, which clearly shows that we can reduce and even eliminate the threat of major diseases".
Techniques such as better surveillance, coordination and control will be used to reduce outbreaks and eventually eliminate the disease.
According to the release, The Global Strategy combines two tools developed by FAO and the OIE:
1. The OIE tool, called the Performance of Veterinary Services Pathway (PVS), evaluates national veterinary services with the aim of bringing them into compliance with OIE quality standards. Reliable veterinary services ensure the quality and safety of livestock production. In turn, strong veterinary systems protect the safety of food sources, trade and animal health, and as such, are a global public good.
2. FAO developed the Progressive Control Pathway for, the PCP-FMD, which guides countries through a series of incremental steps to better manage FMD risks, beginning with active surveillance to establish what types of FMD virus strains are circulating in the country and neighbouring areas.
The final goal of the FMD Global Strategy is to decrease the impact of FMD worldwide by reducing the number of disease outbreaks in infected countries until they ultimately attain FMD-free status, as well as by maintaining the official FMD-free status of countries that are already free.
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