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Mongolia enhances control of Cross-Border Animal Diseases through Innovative Approaches


The livestock sector in Mongolia is the main pillar of the rural economy, contributing to 16 percent of the national GDP and providing livelihoods for 30 percent of its population. However, over the decades, the livestock industry has been confronted by occasional flare-ups of transboundary animal diseases (TADs). The nomadic lifestyle of the Mongolian herders further exacerbates risk of spread. Nomadic people move, on average, four times per year to ensure their animals have sufficient pasture for grazing. Animal diseases like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), peste des petits ruminants (PPR), and brucellosis, are transmitted to livestock through direct contact, air, foodstuffs, and contaminated objects.

The link between these diseases and infected meat and animal products cause many countries to impose trade restrictions on Mongolia to minimize the risk of disease importation. Through their Joint Division, support from FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) enabled Mongolia to strengthen capacities in controlling animal diseases, especially transboundary diseases, by boosting research on safe nuclear and nuclear-derived techniques for diagnosis for quicker detection of the disease, training personnel on these techniques, and providing equipment and expert services.

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