In the event of an animal disease emergency, each country will be expected to have established the following organizational structures which will be needed during a rinderpest emergency campaign.
This is a statutory committee whose composition and functions in relation to dealing with animal disease emergencies, including rinderpest emergencies, are stated in Chapter 1 of the Manual on the preparation of national animal disease emergency preparedness plans, FAO, Rome, 1999.
This technical committee should have the responsibility, among other things, of recommending activation of the rinderpest emergency plans. Its composition and functions are stated in Chapter 2 of the Manual on the preparation of national animal disease emergency preparedness plans.
This front-line team is an example of the specialist diagnostic teams provided for in Chapter 4 of the Manual on the preparation of national animal disease emergency preparedness plans. The team will undertake field investigation, assess the evidence for a rinderpest emergency and advise the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) or an equivalent officer, such as the Director of Veterinary Services (DVS). It should comprise at least:
The team should be maintained in permanent readiness, with ensured mobility and essential equipment and with alternatives identified in case of non-availability.
The equipment includes pre-prepared sampling kits, mobile accommodation, communication equipment, protective clothing and disinfectants.
The rinderpest expert team would be expected to:
Provision should be made in the national animal disease emergency preparedness plan to establish a permanent national animal disease control centre with the functions described in Chapter 2 of the Manual on the preparation of national animal disease emergency preparedness plans.
For implementation of the rinderpest emergency plan, it will be necessary to establish one or more temporary local animal disease control centres situated close to the outbreak site(s). The functions of the centre(s) are as described in Chapter 2 of the Manual on the preparation of national animal disease emergency preparedness plans.
For dealing with a rinderpest emergency, each local animal disease control centre should be equipped with:
The local animal disease emergency control centre should be organized into the following team:
Infected premises team. Under the supervision of an experienced field veterinary officer, staff would be involved in slaughter, disposal, decontamination, quarantine, movement restriction and active disease search in the infected premises of the infected zone.
Disease surveillance team. This team, under the supervision of a veterinary epidemiologist, would be involved in enforcement of movement restrictions and active disease and serological surveillance in the surveillance zone.
Vaccination team. Where the national policy on rinderpest control involves vaccination, a group should be charged with vaccination of the relevant herds in the infected zone and in the buffer zone as necessary.
Stores and administration. For ease of operations and promptness in response, a stores and administration unit should be established at the local animal disease control centre. It should be responsible for the supply of all equipment and chemicals needed for slaughter, disposal and decontamination during a rinderpest emergency. This unit would also coordinate:
Public relations team. It will be essential to have in place a public relations unit for public awareness and information on the presence of rinderpest, the rationale for the national control policy and the necessity for enforcement of movement restrictions and quarantine.
Each country should ensure that staff are regularly trained in procedures for diagnosing and dealing with rinderpest. National authorities should arrange for the regular training of all veterinary and support staff who may be engaged in dealing with rinderpest outbreaks. The training programme should include:
Key members of the veterinary services should have the opportunity of seeing clinical cases of rinderpest as part of their training.
The competence of staff in this area should be maintained by regular training exerexcises at the national and local levels. These should include simulated disease control operations.
Public veterinary services rely on stockowners or private veterinarians attending farm animals to report the possibility of rinderpest. Reporting must be prompt and accurate, so that all outbreaks are identified as soon as possible without raising false alarms.
Prompt and accurate reporting can only be achieved if the veterinary professionals, auxiliary staff and stockowners are aware of the danger of rinderpest and are familiar with the signs of the disease. To this end, countries should maintain awareness of the disease in both the veterinary profession and the agricultural community.
Material should be aimed at veterinary students and at practising veterinarians. Veterinary schools should be provided with simple, professionally sound explanatory material that outlines in an intelligible manner:
The veterinary profession at large should be regularly provided with information on current notification and control procedures and on the epidemiological situation in the country and elsewhere.
For the agricultural community, disease awareness campaingns should be targeted primarily at stockowners and non-professional personnel who regularly visit herds or flocks, such as extension staff, artificial insemination personnel and livestock hauliers.
The campaigns should emphasize: