Tough prevention measures are needed in CIS to halt the spread of animal disease

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), the highly contagious livestock disease, could spread into Russia and other parts of Europe if tough prevention measures are not put in place in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and neighbouring countries where outbreaks have occurred, according to FAO.

"Efficient control measures and vaccination coverage are critical", said Yves Leforban, Secretary of FAO's European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease. According to FMD experts who visted the Caucasus in March, the region is at risk of becoming endemically infected with FMD and the disease could spead further north into Russia and western Europe.

At the 33rd session of the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, meeting in Rome from 7 to 9 April, FAO announced a series of emergency FMD surveillance and control initiatives launched in the Caucasian region, including Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and the southern part of the Russian Federation. Activities are being coordinated by FAO, the International Office of Epizootics (OIE) and the Commission of European Communities, in cooperation with the Institute of Veterinary Research of Vladimir (Russian Federation), and financed by the European Community.

FAO experts also expressed concern about the FMD situation in the Maghreb region. An outbreak of the disease has been developing in North Africa since last February.

Go to press release

8 April 1999 


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