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

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

The European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD), one of FAO’s oldest Commissions, came into being on the 12th June 1954, with the pledge of the sixth founding member nation to the principles of a coordinated and common action against Foot-and-mouth Disease at a time when the disease was ravaging the continent.

The objective

After nearly 70 years, the Commission is working hard for its Member Nations at a time when the infection circulates in the European neighbourhood and in more than 100 countries in Africa, the Middle East, and large parts of the Eurasian landmass. The Three Pillars of the EuFMD strategy to counter the threat of the disease have been, since 2013, to work simultaneously with member nations on their preparedness, with European neighbours to put in place sustainable control programmes, and to support and promote the progressive control of FMD in all regions under the Global FMD Control Strategy of FAO and WOAH. Under a framework of coordination with EC (DG-SANTE), FAO and WOAH, the EuFMD has played a significant role in reducing the risk and ensuring better preparedness. Partly as a result of this, the EU has not had, for the first time it is history, an outbreak of FMD case for a ten-year period, since 2011. In this time the EuFMD has established an internationally respected capacity for efficient delivery of training and in-country support to FMD Progressive Control Programmes, and most recently, in modelling of FMD control measures to guide emergency planning.

About the disease

  • Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease of cloven-hoofed animals. The disease is characterized by the formation of vesicles (fluid-filled blisters) and erosions in the mouth, nose, teats and feet.
  • Although not very lethal in adult animals, it causes serious production losses and is a major constraint in international trade.
  • The disease remains endemic and at a high prevalence in many countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.
  • Watch the video "What you need to know about Foot-and-Mouth Disease" (also available in French, Spanish, Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, Turkish and Brazilian Portuguese).