Emergency Prevention System

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Agricultural pests and diseases often migrate or spread across borders and cause major losses and emergencies. In the past, such damage has on occasions been catastrophic, leading to famines and sometimes triggering trade restrictions. Developing countries are frequently not able to react sufficiently quickly to such events, and extensive emergency operations as well as international assistance becomes necessary. Although effective control methods usually exist now against these pests and diseases, such crisis management inevitably involves delays, a low efficiency/cost ratio and an inability to contain the problem at an early stage. In 1994 FAO established an Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases in order to minimize the risk of such emergencies developing. Initial priority was given to two transboundary pest and diseases problems:

Animal Disease Component

Major transboundary livestock diseases, including Rinderpest and other epidemic animal diseases (contagious bovine pleuropneumonia, foot-and-mouth disease, contagious caprine pleuropneumonia, peste de petit ruminants, rift valley fever, and lumpy skin disease). These diseases are among the most contagious and place a serious burden on the economies of the countries in which they occur.

Desert Locust Component

The Desert Locust is an international problem due to the frequent migration of swarms across borders. Since earliest recorded history, this pest has been considered a serious threat to agricultural production in Africa, the Near East and Southwest Asia and often requires large-scale control operations.

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