Support plans provide the vital backing that make possible the implementation of CBPP or other emergency disease contingency action plans.
Experience has shown that delay in obtaining finances is one of the major constraints on rapid response to emergency disease outbreaks. The immediate application of even modest funds will very probably save major expenditure later. Forward financial planning is therefore an essential component of preparedness.
Financial plans need to be developed that provide for the immediate provision of contingency funds to respond to disease emergencies. These are for the necessary funds required over and above normal operating costs for government veterinary services. All arms of government, including economic planning authorities and the Treasury or Department of Finance, should approve the plans.
The funds could cover the cost of the whole eradication campaign. More usually, they will cover the initial phases of the campaign, pending a review of the outbreak and the control programme, and of the funds required to finalize eradication.
The conditions under which funds may be released should be specified in advance. Normally, they would be provided to the CVO when they advise that:
- CBPP or another emergency disease has been diagnosed, or there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the disease is present;
- the outbreak is capable of effective control or eradication; and
- there are approved plans in place and ready for implementation.
The funds might be held as special funds that are sequestered for the purpose, or there could be drawing rights provided up to a pre-determined, realistic, amount against a specific government account.
In some countries, it might be desirable for funds to be provided from both the government and the private sector for emergency programmes against CBPP and other agreed diseases. This would be agreed upon after a review of the nature and proportion of public good and private good benefits that would be derived from the elimination of the disease. If appropriate, a funding formula might be agreed upon that covered payment of a fixed percentage of the cost of the total campaign by each sector, or whereby each sector pays for specific components in the campaign. If the private sector is to contribute, it needs to be determined who in the private sector benefits (and therefore should share the cost). This may include processing industries and traders, as well as farmer organizations. It also needs to be determined in advance how the private sector funds will be raised. This could be done by livestock industry levies (say on livestock transactions or slaughtering), which funds are then held in quarantined funds, or by industry-wide insurance. Voluntary individual insurance policies are satisfactory for insuring against the consequential losses from a disease or disease control actions, but are unsatisfactory for raising funds for the campaign itself.
In many cases, the funding of the whole emergency disease eradication campaign might be beyond the resources of the country. If this is the case, forward planning should identify potential international donor sources for such a campaign. This could include emergency support from FAO or appropriate international agencies. The procedures for applying for funding and requirements for preparing and submitting an application should be determined in advance.
The financial plan should also include provisions for compensation to owners for any livestock or property destroyed as part of the disease eradication campaign. Paying inadequate compensation is not only unfair, but is also very counter-productive to any campaign. Inadequate compensation fosters resentment and lack of cooperation. It also encourages farmers to hide the presence of the disease. Compensation should be based on the fair market farm-gate value of the animals at the time of slaughter (assuming a value that the animal would have had as a healthy animal). The same principle should be applied to products and property. The valuation should be done by an independent, professional valuer. If individual valuations are not practical, then generic valuations for different classes of livestock may be acceptable. Compensation for consequential, rather than direct, losses are usually difficult to administer and are inappropriate. If replacement of stock after a suitable period is considered to be a better alternative than cash compensation, this should be confirmed in consultation with cattle owners, as some might be sufficiently discouraged to not to want to resume cattle farming.
The first step in preparing a resource plan is to make a resource inventory. This is a listing of all the resources that will be needed to respond to, say, a moderate-sized outbreak of CBPP or other high-priority emergency disease. This includes personnel, equipment and other physical resources. The following resource lists required for different operations should be regarded as indicative rather than exhaustive:
- National Animal Disease Control Centre: senior disease control veterinarians and epidemiologists, financial and administrative officers and extra staff for recording and processing epidemiological and other information; maps (1:50 000 and 1:10 000); computers; communication equipment to local headquarters (e.g. telephone, facsimile, E-mail if available);
- Local Animal Disease Control Centres: senior disease control veterinarians and epidemiologists, technical support and administrative officers; suitable offices; office equipment; cold storage for vaccines; maps; a telephone and if possible fax machine; and pro forma guides for various disease control operations. Under some circumstances, more sophisticated equipment, such as computers, with the concomitant advantage of e-mail, may be present and functional. A list of available personnel should be prepared for ease of contact;
- Diagnostic laboratories: trained laboratory staff; standard laboratory equipment plus any specialized equipment for key emergency diseases; facilities for isolation and identification of the causative organism; and diagnostic reagents for antigen and antibody detection;
- Surveillance: veterinarians and veterinary auxiliary support staff; transport; maps; communication equipment; leaflets or posters on the disease(s); equipment for collecting and transporting diagnostic samples, including blood; and animal restraint equipment;
- Slaughter: supervising veterinarian, personnel and transport; humane killers, ammunition or other approved means of killing; protective clothing; animal restraint equipment; and soaps and disinfectants;
- Quarantine and livestock movement controls: enforcement teams and transport; road-blocks (if necessary); and signs and posters. The modalities of solicit assistance from security agents should be clear;
- Vaccination: veterinarians and trained staff; vaccination equipment; transport; cold storage containers for vaccine; cattle restraining equipment; and ear notchers. Briefing and debriefing sessions.
Next, a list of existing resources is prepared, including their specifications, quantities and locations. In the case of specialist staff, a register should be maintained of the staff, and their qualifications, expertise and experience with CBPP. These resource lists and staff registers should be maintained at the National Disease Control Centre and, where appropriate, at Regional Offices.
Comparison of the inventory lists of needed and available resources will inevitably highlight many deficiencies. The resource plan should identify how these deficiencies would be rectified in an emergency.
There are several options for obtaining the necessary extra resources:
- a list of where essential equipment and stores may be purchased, hired or borrowed;
- in some cases, for hard-to-obtain items, it may be desirable to maintain a central store. Likewise, items that take some time to prepare (e.g. pro forma guides) could also be stored;
- arrangements should be made for secondment of personnel and supply of equipment from other government agencies, e.g. transport and communications equipment from the Defence Forces; and
- arrangements should be made through Veterinary Associations for the temporary employment or secondment of veterinary practitioners in an emergency.
Supply of diagnostic reagents presents special problems, as international sources of these are limited. An international reference laboratory for CBPP should be consulted about sources of reliable diagnostic reagents.
It should be noted that to maintain adequate diagnostic capacity, laboratories should routinely perform the basic tests on specimens of known and unknown status to ensure competence, and should send test samples to reference laboratories from time to time to cross-check even negative results.
The resource plan and associated inventory lists need to be updated on a regular basis.
Acts of Parliament or Government regulations that provide the legislative framework and powers to carry out all necessary disease control actions need to be put in place in advance, as part of preparedness planning. This might include legislation to:
- make CBPP and other proclaimed animal diseases compulsorily notifiable;
- allow the entry of officials (or other designated persons) onto a farm or other livestock enterprise for disease surveillance purposes (including the collection of diagnostic specimens) and to carry out any other approved disease control actions;
- authorize the proclamation (gazetting) of infected areas and disease control zones;
- authorize the quarantining of farms or other livestock enterprises;
- authorize any bans on the movement of livestock, livestock products or other potentially contaminated materials, or the issue of permits to move these only under specified animal health conditions;
- authorize the compulsory destruction and safe disposal of infected or potentially infected animals, subject to fair compensation;
- authorize any other necessary disease control actions;
- provide for compensation to be paid to owners of livestock and property destroyed as part of disease control programmes, and define standards for such compensation;
- allow codes of practice to be mandated for risk enterprises and activities (e.g. livestock markets and abattoirs) and authorize any necessary disease control actions for these;
- authorize the compulsory vaccination of animals; and
- authorize the compulsory identification of animals, where appropriate.
For countries that operate under a federal system of government, there should be harmonization and consistency of legislation for animal disease emergencies throughout the country. The same should apply between countries within regions wherein there is unrestricted exchange of livestock and animal products under free-trade pacts, e.g. the European Union, the Mercosur countries in South America, and ECOWAS and SADC in western and southern Africa, respectively.