The European Commission for the control of Foot-and-Mouth disease (EuFMD)
The European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD), one of FAO’s oldest Commissions, was established in 1954 to coordinate foot-and-mouth disease control within Europe at a time when the disease was ravaging the continent. Foot-and-mouth disease does not affect humans, but it is highly contagious among cattle, buffalo, sheep and pigs and can seriously reduce milk and meat production, and the trade bans that result after outbreaks seriously affect national agricultural economies of exporting nations.
EuFMD is a regional body specialized in supporting member countries (currently 36) in the European region to prevent FMD, through actions co-ordinated with those of the European Union through the DG-SANCO of the European Commission (EC).
The EuFMD Commission supports risk reduction in the European neighbourhood, under the Co-ordination mechanism of the West Eurasia FMD Roadmap which aims to achieve FMD control by 2020 in 14 countries which have endemic FMD in all or part of their territories. It has developed the Progressive Control pathway (PCP) for FMD together with FAO projects to assist national and regional actions in this region. The EuFMD implements projects in the Caucasus, Turkey, Syria, Iran and Egypt aimed at progressive FMD control and thereby reducing risk to EuFMD member states.
In addition it supports improved FMD surveillance in a number of endemic countries on a risk basis, mainly through support to Laboratory/Epidemiology Networking for risk assessment, in endemic regions immediately south of the Sahara. EuFMD carries out its activities in close collaboration with the EC and with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). In the event of FMD emergencies, the Commission’s rapid response mechanism supports national governments with targeted short-term interventions, such as the provision of vaccines, diagnostic reagents and technical expertise.
The EuFMD also implements "Real-Time Training Courses" for veterinarians from Member States, which aim to improve expertise in the immediate investigation and response to FMD outbreaks, and which take place in countries where FMD is endemic.
To assist in the above, the Commission has an Executive Committee from 8 European member countries, a Standing Technical Committee of 4 experts, a Special Committee on Research of 12, and supports a specialized reference laboratory (World Reference Laboratory for FMD) based in the United Kingdom.
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