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The Expert Consultation held in Rome in October 2002 was aimed at developing a document to provide guidance and advice to a wide audience of experts and responsible authorities for developing surveillance and zonation programmes for aquatic animal diseases. Special account was made to address appropriate options to meet local needs in developing countries. The consultation was not intended to produce a set of standards for direct application to surveillance and zonation implementation, as it is clearly recognized that this mandate falls on the shoulders of regional expertise and experience. Furthermore, basic standards have to be flexible enough to adapt to local environmental and socio-economic conditions. This guide focuses on scientifically-valid options that may be used to assist the surveillance programme design - both at the implementation stage and for the ongoing review and revision of established programmes. The value, as well as limitations, of historic data and observations for this process was included during the consultation discussions. We believe this document will serve as a strong starting point, for both targeted (active) and general (passive) surveillance design.

Rohana P. Subasinghe
Sharon E. McGladdery
Barry J. Hill

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