Meeting held to discuses outbreak of FMD disease in animals

PESHAWAR: Federal Minister for National Food Security & Research, Syed Fakhar Imam on Wednesday held online meeting

regarding outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cattle in various parts of the country.

The meeting was attended by ministers for livestock and dairy development of four provinces, senior officers from Ministry of National Food Security and staff of Animal Husbandry, said a press release issued here.

The situations was deliberated upon in detail and measures to control further spread of the disease were discussed, it added.

The meeting decided to allocate adequate funds for import of quality FMD vaccine by respective province and sustains it in subsequently years to contain and control of FMD in the respective jurisdiction of provinces.

The meeting also decided that all possible control measures including but not limited to ring vaccination control of animal movement and improved bio-security shall be put in place on emergency basis from outbreak area.

Similarly, a well conversant officer from each provincial livestock department shall be declared as focal person, who will report FMD incident on daily basis to Animal Husbandry Commissioner, Ministry of National Food Security and Research for further action appropriate for control of this disease.

The participants of the meeting opined that FMD, which was the most common contagious livestock disease in the country, affects the country in two ways. Firstly, it causes milk and meat production losses and animal mortality and secondly, the outbreak of this trans-boundary disease brings about restrictions on the export of livestock and its value-added products.

Concerns over the flaring outbreaks of FMD in various parts of the country were also raised besides unavailability of adequate amount of quality FMD vaccine was discussed at length and pointed out to be one of the major issues concerning control.

Additional Secretary informed the participants that National Diseases Surveillance and Control programme was being approved at a cost of over Rs. 5 billion to be financed by the federal government while responses teams shall be

approved by provincial department.

Once this system is in place, the disease shall be reported in real-time and responded accordingly besides meeting the information commitment under WTO’s SPS regime.