Planning for the progressive control of foot-and-mouth disease worldwide

Rweyemamu, M and Roeder, P and MacKay, D and Sumption, K and Brownlie, J and Leforban, Y (2008) Planning for the progressive control of foot-and-mouth disease worldwide. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 55 (1). pp. 73-87.

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In the wake of on-going successful programmes for global eradication of rinderpest and the current effort to contain the spread of avian influenza, the progressive world-wide control of FMD must be regarded as a major contribution to the international public good. FMD is the single most animal disease constraint to international trade in animal products. Its control is relevant, on the one hand, to protecting the livestock industries of industrialised countries and, on the other, to the livelihoods and income generation of developing countries, where, as a general rule, FMD continues to be endemic. The strategy that is advocated in this paper is one that is based on progressive risk reduction of FMD in the context of progressive market access of livestock commodities from developing countries. It is suggested that FMD control should be linked to improvement in livelihoods of livestock dependent communities in the FMD endemic settings. It is expected that this in turn will lead to increasing demand for effective national veterinary services and disease surveillance. This strategy has also taken lessons from the global rinderpest eradication programme and regional FMD control programmes in Europe and South America, The strategy that is advocated for the progressive control of FMD in the endemic settings is based on a seven stage process within a horizon of about 30 years, namely: (1) Assessing and defining national FMD,status; (2) instituting vaccination and movement control; (3) suppressing virus transmission to achieve absence of clinical disease; (4) achieving freedom from FMD with vaccination in accordance with the OIE standards; (5) achieving freedom from FMD without vaccination in accordance with the OIE standards; (6) extending FMD free zones; and (7) maintaining FMD Freedom. Concomitant with progressive FMD control, there needs be the encouragement of such risk reduction measures as in-country commodity processing in order to encourage regulated trade in livestock commodities without unduly increasing the risk of disease spread. Finally, the progressive control of FMD should also be seen as part of reducing the overall, world-wide threat of infectious diseases to human health and economic development.

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