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OIE/FAO International Scientific Conference on foot and mouth disease

The work of the Scientific Conference on foot and mouth disease, held on 17 and 18 April 2001, benefited from the contributions of leading world scientists and representatives of the five OIE Regional Commissions, acting on behalf of the 157 OIE Member Countries from the five continents.

This Conference was co-organised with the FAO, within the framework of that Organisation's mandate in regard to global animal disease control, particularly for the benefit of developing countries.

In the light of current scientific knowledge on the disease and of the methods used to combat FMD, the Conference examined ways in which international rules governing control methods and precautionary measures could be developed within the context of international trade of animals and animal products.

The resolutions of this Conference are destined mainly for the OIE Specialist Commissions which will need to transform them into standards, possibly for submission, at the end of next month, to the International Committee (the General Assembly of OIE Member Countries).

These resolutions are also destined for the FAO and international aid agencies to direct their support to animal disease control and eradication activities.

Governments too will be interested in these resolutions. It is important that they recognise that the control and eradication of the principal animal diseases is vital for the alleviation of poverty, and for economic development while, at the same time, protecting the international community against the risks of animal diseases.

These resolutions, which will soon be available on the OIE and FAO web sites, cover the following areas:

  • more specific conditions for the international recognition of the health status of countries in regard to foot and mouth disease, particularly when the virus circulates among animals which do not exhibit symptoms of the disease
  • the orientation of research work and study groups to establish whether vaccination can be used in certain conditions, particularly by the rapid evaluation of new generations of vaccines and tests and by a re-evaluation of the risk linked to certain products of animal origin from vaccinated animals which have not been in contact with the FMD virus
  • certain measures which would, depending on the circumstances, avoid stamping-out of rare animal species, animals of great value or those being used for the purposes of scientific research
  • priorities of veterinary research in the field of foot and mouth disease, with a view to offering alternative methods to control the disease and thus avoiding mass slaughter
  • increase the awareness of the general public and of governments to reinforce the need to strengthen Veterinary Services; this will lead to enhanced protection against animal diseases and the creation of international control and eradication programmes against epizootic diseases, which would not only be in the interests of developing countries but would also reduce the risk of the spread of such diseases across the globe.

Furthermore, these resolutions will be conveyed to international agencies for aid and development so that they can establish control and eradication programmes for these diseases, which can be implemented with the assistance of the FAO and OIE.

Download the final report (resolutions, agenda, list of participants): OIEFAO_conf.pdf (77Kb)

Contact : Maria Zampaglione