Animal Production and Health Division - Division de la production et de la santé animales - Dirección de Producción y Sanidad Animal
Regional Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific (APHCA)
The FAO-supported Regional Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific, better known by its acronym APHCA, is located within FAO's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAPA) in Bangkok, Thailand. Like FAO, it is celebrating an anniversary this year, its twentieth.
The commission is involved in practically all national and international efforts to improve animal husbandry and to develop bigger and better livestock industries throughout the region. Among its main activities are control and eradication campaigns, carried out almost exclusively under FAO's Technical Co-operation among Developing Countries (TCDC) programme, on livestock diseases such as rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS).
In addition to its ongoing campaigns, APHCA is involved in other priority areas such as training; standardization of rules and regulations on animal quarantine and veterinary biologies; enhancement of the rural economy through increased meat, milk and egg production on small farms; feed resources development through better use of locally available farm by-products, recycling crop and animal waste and new feed sources to reduce dependence on human foodstuffs; development of integrated and sustainable livestock systems for small farmers; development of the buffalo as the traditional farm animal for work, meat and milk production; and promotion of new technologies, adaptable at the farmers' level.
APHCA also assists member countries in dairy development and marketing, the exchange of technologies and experts, and the planning and running of numerous seminars, conferences and training courses in all aspects of livestock development for both government technicians and individual small farmers.
European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EUFMD)
The commission was founded in 1954, after six nations - Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Yugoslavia and the United Kingdom - deposited instruments of acceptance with the Director-General of FAO. Membership has now grown to include 31 nations.
The commission is an autonomous body within FAO. Its work is carried out by a Secretariat located in the Animal Health Service of the Animal Production and Health Division in Rome, Italy. The major functions and duties of EUFMD are to collect and disseminate information on outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and to help countries diagnose, control and prevent the disease. It registers available virus stocks for use in vaccine production and monitors the evolution of FMD, especially in regions from which the disease could spread into Europe. It works in close collaboration with FAO, the International Office of Epizootics (OIE), the Pan-American Foot-and-Mouth Disease Center (PANAFTOSA) and the World Reference Laboratory at Pirbright Laboratory, the United Kingdom.
The commission holds a general session biennially to review progress, decide on future activities and elect an executive committee. The executive committee meets annually and monitors the work of the commission between general sessions. The Research Group of the commission, founded in 1956, is a technical committee made up of scientists whose research relates to FMD. Its task is to study and report on issues such as virus diagnosis, epidemiology, vaccine production and security requirements at vaccine production plants. Meetings are held annually and the group keeps the commission informed on all matters of scientific interest in the field of FMD research.
In addition to its ongoing activities, the commission is involved in assisting member countries in the implementation of FMD contingency plans, training laboratory personnel and the standardization of rules and regulations in the field of laboratory security, meat import/exports, trading guarantees and certification within Europe.
Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean (LDAC)
Similar to the Regional Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific, but of more recent origin, LDAC was established in 1987 and deals with practically all animal production and health issues of relevance to the region, with its vast feed and livestock resources and enormous potential for livestock development. Sessions of the commission are held every second year; the first took place in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1987, with subsequent sessions in Kingston, Jamaica, followed by Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Mexico City, Mexico. The sessions are usually held in conjunction with an expert consultation, and until now they have focused on the promotion of livestock production, feeding for sustainable dairy production, the reproductive efficiency of cattle and sheep and technology transfer in the livestock sector. The next session is tentatively scheduled to be held in San José, Costa Rica, and will deal with non-tariff trade barriers. The commission also promotes the exchange of information between its 25 member countries and among networks such as those dealing with dairy cattle production, veterinary research and diagnostic laboratories, small-animal development and biotechnology.
Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development
The Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development, an FAO statutory body, serves an important function in determining the focus of the programme based on the needs of member countries. In acknowledging the repercussions of trypanosomiasis in social, economic and environmental terms, when set against the dynamics of population growth, food demand and the declining economies of infested African countries, the seventh session of the commission, held in Gaborone, Botswana, in October 1994, made the following recommendations.
· FAO should define the justification and priorities for trypanosomiasis control in Africa and vigorously pursue the formation and coordination of an international action programme aimed at disease alleviation and eradication.
· Such action should be given priority within the FAO programmes for food security and the control of transboundary animal diseases.
· FAO should strengthen collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and, where possible, integrate efforts towards the control and eradication of both human and animal trypanosomiasis. These efforts should not be viewed in isolation but rather as a component within the overall objective of sustainable agriculture and rural development.
These recommendations were made in recognition of the unique and negative impact imposed by this disease, where the direct losses to cattle production alone are currently estimated at between US$620 million and $1 240 million annually. These figures become less significant when set against the incalculable indirect losses to agricultural production in general. The recommendations now form the basis for the revision of the FAO programme.
The FAO/International Office of Epizootics/World Health Organization animal health yearbook
The FAO/OIE/WHO animal health yearbook ,which is prepared by FAO's Animal Health Service, is based on national and international reporting on 142 animal diseases that are of interest, in terms of socio-economic and public-health consequences, to both international and domestic trade and to individual producers. It gives current data and information on the world health/disease status of more than 15 animal species on a yearly basis. This is supplemented by information collected by FAO, from more than 170 countries, on selected diseases common to both, humans and animals in countries where the information is made available; on animal populations; and on numbers of veterinarians and auxiliary personnel. The yearbook also provides an updated list of reference laboratories, reference centres and collaborating centres that are recognized by FAO, OIE and WHO. In addition, a list of WHO zoonosis centres is presented, making this publication one of the main sources of information on diseases common to animals and humans.
The yearbook is issued for use by veterinary policy-makers, veterinarians, administrators, researchers and scientists.