Health authorities hope strategy will control FMD

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International animal health authorities hope enhancing veterinary services and the management of foot-and-mouth disease risks will help control the disease globally.

Officials with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) expect activities connected with the plan will cost about $800 million in its first five years. Vaccination will account for about $700 million of that cost.

The organizations jointly announced June 29 that more than 100 countries and organizations had endorsed the plan at the FAO/OIE Global Conference on Foot and Mouth Disease Control. An FAO spokeswoman indicated representatives from Canada and the U.S. endorsed the strategy.

“For the Global Strategy to succeed it needs more than the partnership of FAO and OIE; it needs the producers and marketing sectors to participate as well as the veterinary services, the pharmaceutical and vaccine companies, and it will need sustained support from financial institutions and the generosity of funders,” Hiroyuki Konuma, FAO assistant director general, said in an announcement.

Dr. Bernard Vallat, OIE director general, said in an announcement that the strategy’s main objective was controlling FMD worldwide by strengthening veterinary services, a goal that would have positive effects for livestock health “far beyond the control of FMD” by enhancing the capacity to fight other high-impact livestock diseases.

Officials expect their global strategy will ensure FMD is controlled in most countries, improve veterinary services and infrastructure, and improve prevention and control of other major livestock diseases. The strategy includes developing regional vaccine banks and quality-control centers for developing countries as well as improving the efficiency of surveillance systems, the capacity of laboratories, quality control of vaccines, and control of animal movement.

The announcement indicates 66 of 178 OIE member countries are free from FMD.