A global strategy developed by FAO and OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) advises countries on their risk management policy for controlling FMD outbreaks, allowing them to take early steps to prevent the disease from spreading to other farms, communities and across borders.
Developing countries are often hardest hit by FMD, a highly-contagious viral disease, with small farmers suffering devastating impacts to their earnings and survival.
Partnerships needed for capacity development
For the Global Strategy to succeed it needed more than the partnership of FAO and OIE; it needed the producers and marketing sectors to participate as well as the veterinary services, the pharmaceutical and vaccine companies, and it would need sustained support from financial institutions and the generosity of funders, FAO’s assistant director-general Hiroyuki Konuma told those attending the three-day FAO/OIE Global Conference on Foot-and-Mouth Disease Control, which ran from 27 to 29 June.
With cross-border trade also increasing, the transboundary nature of FMD is a regional threat that requires regional approaches and responses.
Foot-and-mouth disease was not a priority in many countries, but when it striked damages were enormous, ranging from losses in production to culling of animals and trade bans. Good governance of national Veterinary Services using the OIE PVS Pathway was a critical element of mitigating foot-and-mouth disease with a positive impact on food security and poverty, OIE Director-General Bernard Vallat told the conference. Aiming for FMD freedom
Included in the process is OIE official recognition of national control programmes and of FMD freedom: today 66 out of 178 OIE member countries are free from FMD.
The Global Strategy is expected to produce three results:
-FMD is controlled in most countries and eliminated in some of them
-Veterinary services and their infrastructures are improved
-Prevention and control of other major diseases of livestock are improved
The Global Strategy includes the development of regional vaccine banks and centres for quality control for developing countries. Other measures include improving the efficiency of surveillance systems, capacity of laboratories, quality control of vaccines and movement control of animals