USDA and FAO launch animal disease crisis management center
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will send four veterinary
specialists to Rome to assist the United Nations' (UN) Food and Agriculture
Organisation (FAO) in launching a new crisis management center that will enhance
worldwide response to animal disease.
The Center will begin operations by end-July at the FAO
headquarters in Rome, with its initial focus
on highly pathogenic H5N1 avian
, which continues to spread throughout the world.
Crisis Management Center, a facility run by the FAO in close collaboration with
the OIE (World
Organisation for Animal Health
) will provide animal disease analysis and
information and deploy international resources to prevent and contain dangerous
The US will provide $1.8 million to FAO to create
the Center. Other contributors include France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands
and the United Kingdom.
"All nations will benefit as we work to
reduce the risk and spread of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza," said US
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "The international community has a
responsibility to equip countries, particularly developing countries, with the
expertise and resources necessary for a rapid and effective response to any
possible animal disease outbreaks."
The Center also will collaborate
with the UN's World Health
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