SAARC vet chiefs draw action plan for cooperation in animal health

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New Delhi, Jun 10 (UNI) The two-day meeting of the SAARC Chiefs of Veterinary Services, which concluded here today, analysed the animal health situation in the region with a special focus on Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TADs).

The critical gaps in resource mobilisation, manpower availability, capabilities and other enabling mechanisms available with the member states were identified.

The Chief Veterinary Officers of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India and their colleagues participated in the meeting.

The meeting came out with a set of recommendations on timely information sharing, adopting biosecurity measures in animal production, regional surveillance as an early warning system, capacity building and progressive harmonisation of veterinary services for effective management of TADs in the sub-region.

The meeting also identified action points both at regional and national levels. In order to achieve better regional cooperation, a roadmap was drawn up with special emphasis on regional disease reporting mechanism, an early alert system, building up network of quality diagnostic laboratories as well as harmonisation of veterinary services across the region through performance evaluation as well as continuous education.

The recommendations of the meeting will be placed before the next meeting of the SAARC Technical Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and subsequently to the meeting of the SAARC Agricultural Ministers scheduled to be held towards end of this year.

TADs include high pathogenic avian influenza, foot and mouth disease and peste des petits ruminants (PPR).

As the present Chair of SAARC, India remained committed to discharge its responsibilities on non-reciprocal basis by offer of assistance in diagnosis and management of major TADs and also the first two training programmes in the form of continuous veterinary education for the veterinary professionals of the member states.

The conference emphasised the need for regional cooperation in tackling the serious problems of livestock diseases both for the benefit of the livestock farmers as well as to protect the human health against possibilities of pandemics in the region.


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