Support plans provide the backing to enable implementation of the ASF or other emergency disease contingency action plans.
Experience has shown that delay in obtaining finances is a major constraint to rapid response to emergency disease outbreaks. Immediate application of even modest funds can save major expenditure later. Forward financial planning is therefore an essential component of preparedness.
Financial plans need to be developed to provide immediate provision of contingency funds to respond to disease emergencies. These are for expenditure required over and above normal operating costs for government veterinary services. Plans should be approved by government departments, including economic planning authorities and the department of finance.
The funds may cover the cost of the whole eradication campaign. They usually cover the initial phases of the campaign, pending a review of the outbreak and the control programme and funds required to finalize eradication.
The conditions under which funds may be released should be specified in advance. They would normally be provided to the CVO when:
The funds may be held as special funds sequestered for the purpose or as drawing rights against a government account to an agreed amount.
In some countries, it may be desirable for funds to be provided by the government and private sector for emergency programmes against ASF and other diseases, as agreed after reviewing the nature and proportion of public and private benefits derived from elimination of the disease. A funding formula may be agreed upon, covering payment by each sector of a fixed percentage of the total cost of the campaign or whereby each sector pays for specific components. If the private sector is to contribute, it must be determined who benefits and therefore who should share the cost. This may include processing industries, traders and farmer organizations. It must be determined how private-sector funds will be raised. This could be done by livestock industry levies, perhaps on livestock transactions or slaughterings, held in secure funds or industry insurance. Voluntary individual insurance policies are satisfactory for insuring against losses from a disease or disease-control actions but are unsatisfactory for raising campaign funds.
It may be that funding of the whole emergency disease eradication campaign is beyond national resources. In this case, forward planning should be carried out to identify potential international donors, including emergency support from FAO or other international agencies. Procedures for applying for funding and requirements for submitting an application should be determined in advance.
The financial plan should include provisions for compensation to owners for livestock or property destroyed as part of the disease eradication campaign. Inadequate compensation is inherently unfair and counterproductive to the campaign, fostering resentment and lack of cooperation. It also encourages farmers to hide the presence of the disease. Compensation should be based on a fair market value of the animals at the time of slaughter, assuming values for healthy animals. The same principle should be applied to products and property. Valuation should be done by independent, professional valuers. If individual valuations are not practical, generic valuations for different classes of livestock may be acceptable. Compensation for consequential rather than direct losses are difficult to administer and are inappropriate. If replacement of stock after a period is considered a better alternative than cash compensation, it should be confirmed in consultation with pig owners, as some may be discouraged from resuming pig farming.
The first step in preparing a resource plan is to make a resource inventory. This is a list of resources needed to respond to a moderate-sized outbreak of ASF or another high-priority emergency disease, including personnel, equipment and other resources. The following resource lists should be regarded as indicative rather than exhaustive:
National animal disease control centre
Local animal disease control centres
Under some circumstances, computers with e-mail may be available.
Slaughter, burial and disinfection
Quarantine and livestock movement controls
A list of existing resources should be prepared, including specifications, quantities and locations. A register of specialist staff should be maintained, with qualifications and experience with ASF. Resource lists and staff registers should be maintained at the national disease control centre and regional offices.
Comparison of the lists of necessary and available resources will inevitably highlight many deficiencies. The resource plan should identify how these deficiencies can be rectified in an emergency.
There are various options for obtaining the necessary extra resources:
Supply of diagnostic reagents presents special problems, as international sources are limited. An international reference laboratory for ASF should be consulted about sources of reliable diagnostic agents.
It should be noted that to maintain adequate diagnostic capacity and ensure competence, laboratories should routinely perform basic tests on specimens of known and unknown status and send test samples to reference laboratories from time to time to cross-check even negative results.
The resource plan and inventory lists need to be regularly updated.
Acts of parliament or government regulations providing the legislative framework and powers to carry out disease control actions need to be put in place as part of preparedness planning. This may include legislation to:
For countries which operate under a federal system of government, there should be harmonized, consistent legislation for animal disease emergencies throughout the country. The same should apply between countries in regions where there is unrestricted exchange of livestock and animal products under free-trade pacts, such as the European Union, the Mercosur countries in South America, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).