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The global foot and mouth disease control strategy


Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is one of the most contagious transboundary animal diseases (TADs). Livestock movements and trade play a key role in the spread of the disease. FMD is still widespread throughout the world. It still occurs in large parts of Africa,the Middle East and Asia and the countries that are free of FMD today remains under constant threat of an incursion. The disease is well-known for its ability to severely affect and indeed disrupt regional and international trade in animals and animal products. It is also notorious for the enormous financial damage it can cause in FMD-free countries hit by an outbreak. However, the burden of FMD on developing countries, involving the loss of animals and biological diversity and the lowering of production efficiency, is generally much less well known or is underestimated. In FMD-endemic countries, usually developing countries, the disease threatens food security and the livelihoods of smallholders and prevents animal husbandry sectors from developing their economic potential. With a fast moving infection, surveillance is essential and building up national and regional epidemio-surveillance capacities is a priority activity. FAO and and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) developed a 15-year global control strategy in 2012 to reduce the burden of FMD in endemic countries and maintain the status of FMD-free countries.

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