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FAO and EU Partnership

Coordinating animal health research between China and Europe


Launched in December 2013, LinkTADs is a €1 million initiative funded by the European Union’s (EU) Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) to coordinate research on animal disease prevention and control between the Europe and China.

China's exponential economic growth coupled with its rising population and urbanization has led to a sharp increase in the demand of animal products. Today, China is the world's largest livestock producer and consumer.

To meet such demand, livestock production has considerably changed (e.g. more intensive farming) and trade of animals and animal products has grown dramatically, making it more likely for new pathogens to emerge and spread, in some case even to humans

Effective prevention, control and eradication of such transboundary animal diseases (TADs) is crucial to protect national and international food supplies, local livelihoods and human health.

To contribute to today’s livestock health challenges, LinkTADs will coordinate the development and improvement of new epidemiology and laboratory tools by linking researchers in China and Europe. It will facilitate research collaboration between the two superpowers and bring down barriers, including regulations, policies, politics and language.

LinkTADs is composed by some of the major scientific players in the field of animal health, including five European and five Chinese partners. FAO will serve as the initiative’s coordinator.

LinkTADs aims to: (i) coordinate research across borders; (ii) help finding common research goals; (iii) guide partners along the process; and (iv) create sustainable and simple mechanisms for continued collaboration.

Under the LinkTADs umbrella, scientists from the EU and China will benefit from each other’s knowledge, skills and equipment, optimising the use of research resources. Most importantly, they will have access to a wider pool of funding programmes.

By 2016, LinkTADs aims to have established an platform that will allow European and Chinese partners to coordinate future research in animal health and address transboundary animal disease at a global level.

See also: http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/programmes/en/empres/news_201213.html