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Simulation exercise: Foot and mouth disease in Italy

Prof. Romano Marabelli, Chief Veterinary Officer, Head of Department for Veterinary Public Health, Food Safety and Collegial Bodies for Health protection, Ministry of Health, Roma, Italy, informed the OIE that a field simulation exercise on Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) named “The day afta”, will take place in Italy, from 14 to 15 December 2011.

This exercise will include field visits to farms in three regions: Lombardia, Emilia Romagna (North) and Basicalata (South) and disease control centres will be set up.

The overall aim of this exercise, which will be conducted in conjunction with the regional and local veterinary services, regional veterinary laboratories, National Reference Laboratories for vesicular diseases and for epidemiology, is to assess and check the national contingency plan and policies for the control and eradication of a foot and mouth disease outbreak, with a view to detecting critical points and identifying improvements in the plan, instructions, structures and procedures.

The objectives are to:

  1. Demonstrate that the Authorities are taking the threat of FMD seriously and have effective policies and contingency plan in place to early detect the introduction of the disease;
  2. Exercise the integration and interaction between the strategic and tactical levels within the Ministry of Health, the Regional and Local veterinary services and the National Reference Laboratories to demonstrate the joined up response to an outbreak of FMD;
  3. Exercise the multi-services response to an outbreak of FMD, the chain of command to have high levels of alert proportionate to the threats and losses in case of introduction of exotic diseases, both nationally and locally;
  4. Exercise the Animal Health’s operational model, as “contingency system”, in reaction to a confirmed case of FMD regionally and locally, to demonstrate increased readiness and resilience within the structure.


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Animal Health Information Department
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)
information.dept@oie.int

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