The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization have launched an initiative to bring foot-and-mouth disease under global control.
The organizations presented the initiative in late June at an OIE/FAO conference on FMD in Paraguay. The goal is to create a long-term program for the control of FMD under the auspices of the existing Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases, which the OIE and FAO signed in 2004.
The OIE recognizes almost 70 countries as FMD free, but more than 100 countries have endemic or sporadic infections. Currently, seven pools of distinct FMD virus strains exist around the world—in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.
Participants in the recent conference agreed that the OIE and FAO should promote new and existing regional road maps for the control of FMD. Long-term FMD-control programs in South America, the European Union, and Southeast Asia could provide templates for programs in other regions.
Other recommendations were for the OIE and FAO to communicate the need for FMD control, strengthen national veterinary services, improve global cooperation for FMD surveillance, and enhance access to diagnostic facilities. Conference participants also recommended that the OIE should consider establishing banks of FMD vaccines in strategic locations and should encourage recognition of FMD-free countries for purposes of trade in animals and animal products.
The full list of 20 recommendations is at www.oie.int under "press releases."