Home > Emergencies > Transboundary animal diseases

FAO in emergencies app

Download now!

Connect with us

A poultry farmer feeding chickens

Transboundary animal diseases

Transboundary animal diseases are highly contagious epidemic diseases that can spread extremely rapidly, irrespective of national borders. They cause high rates of death and disease in animals, thereby having serious socio-economic and sometimes public health consequences while constituting a constant threat to the livelihoods of livestock farmers.

Globalization, land encroachment and climate change contribute to outbreaks of such animal diseases – some transmissible to humans – as brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis, parasitic illnesses, anthrax, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and certain strains of influenza viruses. High-impact animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, peste des petits ruminants, classical or African swine fevers, while not directly affecting human health, do affect food and nutrition security and livestock production and trade.

Animal diseases have potential to reduce:

  • quantity and quality of food, such as meat and milk
  • livestock products: hides, skins, fibres
  • animal power: traction, transport

FAO animal disease emergency response mechanisms

The FAO Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) Animal Health develops strategies for intervention and improved management. It works to monitor and give early warning and ultimately to prevent animal diseases.

The Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) is FAO’s corporate centre for the planning and delivery of veterinary assistance to FAO member countries responding to the threat of transboundary animal health crises.

The Emergency Management Centre for Animal Health (EMC-AH) is FAO’s rapid response unit to animal disease emergencies.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza – bird flu

Since 2004 FAO has been at the forefront of the fight against highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) – bird flu – in over 95 countries. FAO has mobilized over US$ 445 million to combat influenza and emerging disease threats through prevention, surveillance, and control.

Rinderpest eradication

In June 2011, after years of battle against the disease, FAO formally declared rinderpest eradicated. Though rinderpest or ‘cattle plague’ doesn’t affect humans directly, it sowed terror when it struck, as it was capable of wiping out entire herds of cattle, sparking famine across communities when they were suddenly found without a source of food and income from cattle raising.

Peste des petits ruminants

Based on the rinderpest experience, FAO is mounting a global programme for the progressive control and possible eradication of peste des petits ruminants (PPR). PPR is endemic in many African countries, in the Middle East, in Central and Southern Asia and in parts of China.

Rift Valley fever

The Rift Valley fever virus spreads widely in animals and has been detected in humans, causing human death. In response to outbreaks, FAO works in close cooperation with local veterinary services to limit the spread of the virus and to reduce the risk of contagion for the livestock holders, producers and other groups at risk.

Related Topics

 - Established in 2007, World Rabies Day raises awareness of the threat of rabies and brings together key stakeholders to enhance global prevention and control efforts. To ...read more
11/11/2019
 - The United States Agency for International Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations are working together to keep the world safe from ...read more
27/10/2019
 - Highlights: FAO China ECTAD attendance at the the Inception Workshop for the FAO Regional Technical Cooperation Programme on African Swine Fever Emergency Preparedness and Response in East ...read more
17/10/2019
 - Each year, rabies causes an estimated 74 000 human deaths worldwide. More than 95 percent of all deaths from human rabies occur in Asia and Africa, ...read more
28/09/2019
 - Intersectoral collaborations between the animal and human health sectors to combat zoonotic diseases have always been very difficult and complex. Recognizing the importance of a multidisciplinary ...read more
26/09/2019
 - To safeguard livelihoods and increase food security and nutrition of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities by rehabilitating the Central Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (CVDL) and strengthening the animal ...read more
30/08/2019
 - In Ghana, early and rapid reporting and notification of animal diseases in the field is a major challenge due to inadequate health workforce and capacities. To ...read more
26/08/2019
 - Highlight: The 7th Veterinary Epidemiology for Executives (FETPV-E) workshop successfully held in Chengdu Under the framework of the China Field Epidemiology Training Program for Veterinarians (CFETPV), the 7th ...read more
26/08/2019
 - World meat production is projected to double by 2050, most of which is expected in developing countries. The growing meat market provides a significant opportunity for ...read more
22/08/2019
 - Following the below-average Belg rainfall in February to May 2019 and the impact of consecutive droughts in the previous years, as well as conflict-induced internal displacements, ...read more
24/06/2019
« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 ... 20