FAO warns of increased foot-and-mouth threats

FAO warns of increased foot-and-mouth threats

28/04/2010

FAO today urged heightened international surveillance against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) following three recent incursions in Japan and South Korea. “We are worried because the rigorous biosecurity measures in place in the two countries were overwhelmed, pointing to a recent, large-scale weight of infection in source areas, very probably in the Far East,” said FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer Juan Lubroth.

“In the past nine years, incursions into officially FMD-free countries, as were Japan and the Republic of Korea, have been extremely rare so to have three such events in four months is a serious cause for concern,” he noted.

“We also have to ask ourselves if we aren’t facing a possible replay of the disastrous 2001 FMD transcontinental epidemic which spread to South Africa, the United Kingdom and Europe after earlier incursions in Japan and South Korea,” Lubroth added.