After the announcement of the eradication of rinderpest in 2011 there was some buzz that foot-and-mouth disease might be next in the quest to rid the world of devastating animal diseases. In conjunction with the Global Conference on Foot-and-Mouth Disease Control in June 2012, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and OIE (World Animal Health Organization) released “The Global Foot and Mouth Disease Control Strategy.” This document sets its sights on control rather than eradication of this transboundary animal disease (TAD). But it is not blindered by naming foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) as the target of the strategy. The document makes a strong case for the need for improvement in veterinary services as an essential component in not only the control of this TAD but in controlling many other diseases that hamper socio-economic progress in developing countries.
The strategy outlines 3 main objectives:
- Improve global FMD control in a stepwise approach by country or region
- Strengthen veterinary services to provide surveillance, diagnostic and biosecurity programs
- Improve the prevention and control of other major diseases of livestock through enhanced surveillance and application of preventive measures such as vaccination
Meanwhile in the western hemisphere, the South American Commission for the Fight Against Foot-and-Mouth Disease (COSALFA) is following its action plan for 2011 – 2020 for countries in the region. Established in 1973, the Pan American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Center (PANAFTOSA) in Brazil led the development of the Hemispheric Plan for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Eradication, first published in 1987. Much progress has been made in the 21st century and PANAFTOSA continues to push for the eradication of FMD from South America.
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