SAARC nations call for joint action on bird flu

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (UNI) A two-day conference of Chiefs of Veterinary Services of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC) began here today with a call to tackle bird flu and other trans- boundary animal diseases.

Inaugurating the conference, Secretary (Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries) Dr Pradeep Kumar offered to share India's laboratories and expertise in prevention, and control of diseases like Bird flu with the SAARC nations.

Dr Kumar said all the SAARC nations have similar livestock systems with similar economic and social realities, and they all suffer from inadequacies of veterinary infrastructure and shortage of technical manpower. It is, therefore, imperative that they share veterinary nformation and know how to deal, especially, the trans-boundary diseases with the neighbouring countries.

Emphasising that diseases are spread between countries when there is a steady movement of people and goods across the borders, Dr Kumar called upon the delegates to evolve an action plan to tackle the trans-boundary animal diseases.

''Sharing of information immediately on the onset of a major disease in a country is of paramount importance in checking the spread of such diseases. There is also scope for coordination among SAARC nations in all areas of veterinary science, ranging from capacity building, diagnosis and prophylaxis, to edidemiology,'' he added.

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