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Initiative to reduce risks arising out of the unregulated cross-border movement of livestock and poultry

Secretary Dr. GC and FAOR Dr. Somsak (third and fourth from right in the front row) with the participants of the meeting

Kathmandu -  A two-day Cross Border consultation meeting of veterinarians of the Gangetic plain countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal was jointly organized by FAO and SAARC Secretariat on 27-28 March 2017 in Kathmandu. The purpose of the consultation meeting was to develop a shared understanding of the risks of the transmission of Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TADs), its impact due to cross  border movement and to develop minimum joint strategies and mechanisms to reduce the risks arising out of the unregulated cross-border movement of livestock and poultry.  

Speaking in the inaugural session of the meeting, Dr Yubak Dhoj GC, Secretary at the Ministry of Livestock Development, appreciated the efforts of the veterinarians of Nepal for controlling the outbreak of livestock diseases, despite the resources constraints. 

Stating that the Region has common disease in human beings, animals and environment, Dr GC commended the efforts of the SAARC countries to control TADs.

Dr. Somsak Pipoppinyo, Representative of Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAOR) for Nepal and Bhutan, said that FAO provides technical assistance and advocacy support to the member countries for good management of animal health and control of TADs including emerging zoonotic diseases.

Dr. Somsak further elaborated that the global strategies for the progressive control of key livestock diseases, including Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), have been launched by FAO to address the global concern for these diseases.

Mr. Sangye Rinchen, Director Environment, Natural Disasters & Biotechnology (ENB) of the SAARC secretariat also addressed the meeting. He mentioned that in South Asia, the high impact TADs including Avian Influenza (AI) are causes of concern due to their impact on economics of livestock production and on livelihood of farmers besides the threat of emerging zoonotic diseases.

Dr. Wantanee Kalpravidh, Regional Manager, Emergency Center for Trans- boundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) at FAO-Regional Office for Asia Pacific led the technical sessions and presented on account of best practices on cross-border dialogue held among ASEAN countries. Other presentations included value chain studies, animal movement and risks and opportunities for safe trade, country updates through gallery walks, group discussions and plenary session were made during the technical sessions. The meeting acknowledged and considered the expert inputs from the different prospective.

A set of recommendations were formulated for continuing and improving the cross-border coordination mechanism among the Gangetic Plain Countries. The participants also reviewed and updated cross border status as regard to livestock value-chains.30 veterinarians from the four countries and FAO experts from Nepal and Regional office attended the meeting..