USDA and FAO launch animal disease crisis management center

17-07-2006 | |
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 influenza, which continues to spread throughout the world.

The 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 animal diseases.

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 Organisation.