After ending the work plan developed together with leaders from the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) in Paris (France), the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Aurelio Iragorri Valencia, reported that the WOAH gave the green light to the technical proposal presented by the ICA for recovering the foot-and-mouth disease-free status with vaccination.
The Minister, Mr. Iragorri, explained that the Technical Director of Epidemiology of the ICA, Ms. Olga Lucía Díaz, reported before the WOAH’s Scientific Committee, presided over by Ms. Monique Eloit, the measures implemented in Colombia to eradicate the foot-and-mouth disease situation that appeared in Tame, Arauca, Yacopí and Tibacuy, in the department of Cundinamarca, and in a rural area of Cúcuta, 300 meters away from the border with Venezuela.
As the Minister explained, “the good news is that the WOAH acknowledged that the outbreak came to an end in Colombia, so the re-acknowledgement process has started, consisting in establishing a containment area under the WOAH’s Health Code WOAH’s directives, that will be developed and implemented immediately by the ICA. After establishing this area, according to the corresponding procedures, the recovery of the status would take some 90 days, and we expect this to happen in November”.
A containment space is a delimited geographical area that englobes all the cases present in the outbreak, limited to a country or an area free of foot-and-mouth disease where vaccination is applied or not. With the implementation of this area, the veterinary authority seeks to group all the detected cases to reduce to a minimum the consequences of the disease in the country.
Consequently, the ICA will develop the relevant processes in this area and will send the corresponding information, that will be inspected promptly for its approval, attaining in this way the restitution of the foot-and-mouth disease-free status with vaccination.
The ICA will strengthen the health control activities at the borders within a combined institutional action carried out together with the INVIMA, the police force, the DIAN, the POLFA and other institutions. Likewise, the second vaccination cycle against foot-and-mouth disease in Colombia will be strengthened, diagnosing and assessing the points deemed critical, that will be duly corrected and strengthened. Additionally and concurrently, the Annual Seroepidemiological Survey (traditionally carried out before the second vaccination cycle, that starts on October 27th and ends on December 10th 2017) will be performed to prove the absence of virus circulation in Colombia.
Monday September 11, 2017/ Ministerio de Agricultura/ Colombia.