The European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD)

Public-Private Partnership for Anticipating FAST-Disease Outbreaks

A Public-Private Partnership is a joint approach in which the public and private sectors agree on responsibilities and share resources and risks to achieve common objectives that deliver benefits in a sustainable manner. Innovative partnerships between governments and actors in the livestock production chain are important mechanisms for the control and eradication of FAST diseases. The EuFMD is collaborating with the livestock production sector to foster their engagement in partnerships with government bodies and NGOs to tackle FAST diseases together. 

Impact of FAST diseases on the livestock value chain

Foot-and-mouth disease and similar transboundary animal diseases remain permanent threats to European livestock production. FAST diseases epidemics usually have a serious and frequently catastrophic impact on animal health and welfare, and are disruptive to the livestock production value chain due to movement restrictions and trade bans that are imposed for controlling the outbreak. The risk for disruption can be reduced by preventing incursion, ensuring better preparedness for managing outbreaks, and helping EU neighbouring countries with eradicating these diseases. Ideally, the responsibility and engagement for these actions are equally shared and are based on consensus between all public and private stakeholders in European livestock production. A strict eradication policy as it is foreseen today in the EU must include all partners, from the competent veterinary authority, farmers, veterinary professionals, farm suppliers, to the rendering companies. 

Public Private Partnership in FAST disease control

With the support of EuFMD, the European private sector stakeholders in livestock production have launched a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Initiative for Anticipating FAST-Disease Outbreaks to explore a collaboration with public partners and academia in addressing animal health management in a structured and open discussion. The PPP can investigate specific areas of concern and propose solutions that are supported by all partners. 

Criteria for application of emergency vaccination during FAST disease outbreaks need to be revised to create a lever for keeping vaccinated animals alive. The criteria for post-outbreak surveillance for regaining disease-free status and market access of vaccinated animals should become risk-based and include new surveillance tools that are available.

Biosecurity is an important animal husbandry practice that can enhance animal health on farms. The opportunities that arise when enhancing biosecurity on farms for controlling FAST diseases need to be explored. Private sector stakeholders can invest on biosecurity management and resources needed to deal with FAST diseases by sharing experiences between the partners.