The European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD)

The disease

Nature of the disease
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals. The disease is characterised by the formation of vesicles (fluid-filled blisters) and erosions in the mouth, nose, teats and feet. Although not very lethal in adult animals, it causes serious production losses and is a major constraint in international trade.

OIE Listed disease 

Susceptible species
Cloven-hoofed animals (ungulates) are susceptible to FMD. Of the domestic species, cattle, buffaloes, pigs, sheep, goats and deer are susceptible. Horses are not affected.

Where it occurs
The FMD situation has improved markedly in recent years particularly in Europe and some countries in south east Asia and South America. However, the disease remains endemic and at a high prevalence in many countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Europe, North and Central America, Pacific nations and the Caribbean are free of the disease. 

Audio: What can be done in the case of an FMD outbreak? 
(Keith Sumption, Executive Secretary of the EUFMD)

Challenges to effective FMD control
These are some of the challenges and gaps that are hindering the progress of FMD control which require concerted efforts and funding at national, regional and international levels:

Insufficient risk assessment and risk management skills

Limited diagnostic capability and supplies, and epidemiological skills

Cross-border movement control and timely exchange of information between neighboring countries are not harmonized

Limited knowledge of the socio-economic impact of the disease

Disengagement of political will and shortage of resources at national, regional and international levels