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More than 100 countries approve a new strategy on FMD

29 June 2012 90 years of expertise

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29 June 2012: the new global foot and mouth disease (FMD) control strategy aims at controlling this devastating disease of cattle.

The Global Strategy developed by FAO and the OIE is designed to help countries control FMD outbreaks more effectively and take the necessary measures to prevent the disease spreading to other farms, communities and across borders to neighbouring countries. This strategy, approved at the end of the OIE/FAO Global Conference OIE/FAO on Foot and Mouth Disease Control (Bangkok, 2012), benefits farmers and consumers.

The disease has an economic impact on exports but also on consumers, who are faced with higher prices for milk, meat and other food products.
For a reminder

FMD: an economic scourge

FMD is a highly contagious disease of large domestic and wild animals. Although it does not cause large-scale mortality it generates significant economic losses totalling millions of dollars. In particular, it sharply and irreversibly reduces milk and meat production in infected farms.

Developing countries are the hardest hit. For the poorest farmers who often depend on just a few animals, FMD means hunger and economic ruin, depriving them of their only source of income and their only source of milk and animal protein.

Controlling FMD worldwide

Foot and mouth disease remains one of the most widespread epizootic diseases in the world. More than 100 countries are still not considered officially free by the OIE.

Even when countries have, at great expense, eradicated FMD and been accorded an official FMD-free status, they remain under constant threat of its being accidentally or deliberately reintroduced and so are obliged to maintain costly systems of border protection and nationwide continuous field surveillance.

The Global Foot and Mouth Disease Strategy has three components:

  • controlling FMD worldwide;
  • improving the capacities of the Veterinary Services to achieve this objective;
  • Better prevention and control of other major diseases of livestock.

For more information

The strategy was prepared by FAO and the OIE under the auspices of the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Diseases (GF-TADs), and in consultation with various experts, countries and donors as well as relevant regional and international organisations.

The Global Strategy also provides for the creation of regional vaccine banks and also quality control centres for developing countries.

OIE regional vaccine bank for FMD

Doses delivered up to the end of July 2014.

The OIE Regional Vaccine Bank for Asia comprises five core strains and six optional strains, and a pre-formulated FMD vaccine. It has been fully operational since December 2011 and has already benefited several Asian countries. The vaccine bank is funded by the European Union’s HPED programme and is managed by the OIE Sub-Regional Representation in Bangkok.

OIE vaccine banks

Towards a world free from foot and mouth disease

Sixty-six countries have already acquired the official status of “country FMD free without vaccination”, as approved by resolution of the OIE World Assembly, which proves that the objective of global control is not unattainable.

The OIE accords Member Countries, at their request, official recognition of their FMD status in the following cases:

This procedure for the official recognition by the OIE of the FMD status of Member Countries was established in 1994, at the request of the World Assembly of Delegates to the OIE. It has since been extended to include other diseases.

The official recognition of disease status of Members Countries is of great significance for international trade and is one of the most important legal links between the OIE and the World Trade Organization (WTO), within the framework of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), which came into force in 1995.

A country may either lose or enhance its commercial attractiveness in the eyes of potential or existing importing partners depending on official recognition of its disease status.

For more information on official disease statuses

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