The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has urged countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) to be vigilant in their inspection and monitoring of cross border trade of animal products as transboundary animal diseases (TADs) continue to pose health risks.
Representatives from China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam, as well as delegates from FAO, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and other stakeholders held recent talks in Bangkok on ways to work together to ensure safer practices to detect and prevent the spread of TADs, among which Classical Swine Fever (CSF), African Swine Fever (ASF), Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) are prevalent.
“Climate change and trade globalization have brought more challenges to TADs control,” said Wang Gongmin, Deputy Director-General of China’s Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. “The Ministry will continue to provide technical support and other relevant cooperation to our best efforts to strengthen the One World, One Health practice.”
According to press release issued by FAO, Wang made the comments during an inception meeting of the FAO-China South-South Cooperation Project on TADs Control in the GMS Countries. The meeting was convened by the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand.
South-South Cooperation on transboundary disease prevention mutually beneficial for GMS
The countries of the GMS have similar climatic conditions and close socio-economic linkages and this South-South project is deemed mutually beneficial to all countries in the sub-region.
FAO’s work contributes to the improvement of livelihoods, food and nutrition security, as well as promoting trade within the region. Cross-border trade of animal products is considered to be one of the key factors associated with disease transmission. Safer trade practices are required in order to reduce the threats of TADs within the region. FAO facilitates multilateral collaboration and capacity building among stakeholders to address the threats these diseases pose.
“Under FAO’s Strategic Objectives, we will contribute to the establishment of collaboration and coordination platforms that promote information sharing and improve the management of TADs in the region,” said Xiangjun Yao, FAO’s Regional Programme Leader.
FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) is coordinating its work through a collaboration with China’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA). The project is being implemented over a three year period.