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4-nation meeting on animal disease control begins

4-nation meeting on animal disease control begins

Nov 28, 2017 - 11:55

KABUL (Pajhwok): Veterinary officials from the Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan are meeting today in Tehran to discuss improved collaboration to address trans-boundary animal diseases (TADs).

At the two-day meeting, which began on Tuesday, the participants would deliberate on better monitoring of livestock health and rapid control of outbreaks, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation said,

In close collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), FAO has organised the meeting on the control of TADs, hosted by the Iranian Veterinary Organization (IVO).

The meeting is financially supported by the Government of Japan, through the FAO project in Afghanistan. The project, launched in 2014, aims at assisting herders to enhance the health of their livestock.

It also supports annual bilateral meetings with the neighboring countries -- Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan -- to address common issues such as the impact of animal movements and the related risks of diseases spreading across borders.

Livestock plays an important role in Central and South Asia in terms of boosting nutrition and helping to improve livelihoods, particularly those of small holders and their families.

Outbreaks of diseases like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and peste des petitsruminants (PPR) are a constant threat to both better nutrition and farmer incomes.

Livestock movement in border areas

Livestock-dependent populations in border areas include nomadic herders who move their stock along traditional routes between winter and summer pastures.

The project aims to assist these groups in prevention and control of animal diseases. In Afghanistan alone, the most recent estimate of the nation-wide number of indigenous sheep, goats and cattle was in excess of 10 million.

Control and preventive measures currently in place and emergency control measures required in case of disease outbreaks (sample collection, movement restrictions, emergency vaccinations, etc) are on the meeting agenda.

The officials are also discussing disease surveillance, outbreak investigations and, through case studies, are examining viable options for the control of animal movements along common borders.

The meeting promotes communication, collaboration and coordination, exchange of technical expertise, awareness raising, training and capacity building as well as information-sharing.

The signing of a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Tajikistan will strengthen collaboration and coordination on control of trans-boundary animal disease.