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The Office International des Epizooties (OIE) has recently published World Animal Health in 1995 (1).

This work provides a complete overview of the development of animal epidemics ("epizootics") throughout the world during the past year and will be of particular interest to national veterinary officials responsible for animal health and production.

Among the amount of information presented, several events deserve a special mention:

  • The reappearance of foot and mouth disease in Russia and Turkish Thrace clearly shows the threat that the disease still represents for Europe. In South America, the foot and mouth disease control programme carried out jointly by "Mercosur" countries (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) continues to be effective.

  • Rinderpest was reported amongst wild ruminant populations in a national park in Kenya. This again raises the question of the role of wildlife in the epidemiology of the disease.

  • Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia is now well established in Botswana and Tanzania; it is a threat to neighbouring countries and calls for urgent measures.

  • The eradication of African swine fever has been successfully completed in Spain, so that Sardinia remains the only territory in Europe where this disease still persists.

  • Even though rabies continues to regress in Western Europe, thanks to the oral vaccination of foxes, a few pockets of rabies in zones with a high vulpine population still exist.

  • The isolation of the virus of Japanese encephalitis on an island north of Australia, underlines the importance of being vigilant with regard to pathogenic agents considered as exotic, even though this episode has remained very limited.

  • The number of cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ('mad cow disease') has considerably decreased in the United Kingdom.

  • Urgent reporting regarding fish diseases has increased, reflecting the problems arising from intensification of production and trade in the field of aquaculture.

The OIE, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), will continue to promote the strengthening of animal disease surveillance and assist Member Countries to develop and implement concerted disease control programmes and thus to meet their animal protein production needs.

(1) 21x29.7 cm, 719 pages, FRF 500 / US$ 97 (P & P included). Available from the Office International des Epizooties, 12 rue de Prony, 75017 Paris.

Contact : Maria Zampaglione

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