Foot and mouth disease (FMD) remains one of the world’s most widespread epizootic animal diseases. More than 100 countries are not yet recognized as officially free of FMD by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
Sixty-five countries have already had official approval from the OIE World Assembly of Delegates for their status as FMD-free countries where vaccination is not practiced. Although this proves that the goal of global control is not out of reach, everyone knows that achieving it will be costly, protracted and difficult because of the large number of continuously evolving viral strains and high cost of good-quality vaccines or lack of political will in some countries.
That is why, following their successful first global conference in Asunción (Paraguay) in 2009, the OIE and FAO will be holding the second Global Conference on Foot and Mouth Disease Control in Bangkok (Thailand) from 27 to 29 June 2012, for Member Country Chief Veterinary Officers, top international experts and representatives of relevant regional and international organisations and the global community of potential donors. This will be a key event for the OIE and FAO to launch a three-pronged attack using their joint FMD Global Control Strategy.
The OIE has already amended the Terrestrial Animal Health Code to allow its Member Countries to submit their national FMD control programmes voluntarily to the OIE World Assembly of Delegates for formal endorsement. Such endorsement will undoubtedly safeguard their governments’ future investment decisions and facilitate negotiations with donors to secure the required resources for this long, drawn-out task, which will eventually extend to all countries in the world not yet officially recognised by the OIE as FMD-free.
January 2012/ OIE.