Curtain Raiser: International Conference on Scientific Developments and Technical Challenges in the Progressive Control of FMD

Conference (13-15 February) will be attended by the 600 Participants of 22 Countries

New Delhi, 10 February, 2012

International Conference on Scientific Developments and Technical Challenges in the Progressive Control of Foot and Mouth Disease in South Asia is being organized from 13-15 February at NASC Complex, Pusa Campus. The conference will discuss the likely roadmap to eradicate FMD from South Asia. India has to play a pivotal role in engaging other stakeholders in this important issue. Conference will jointly organized by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries and FAO.

In this regard, a joint press conference was organized by the ICAR and FAO. Prof. K.M.L. Pathak, Chairman, Organizing Committee and Deputy Director General (Animal Science), ICAR said that the conference is being organized to gauge how scientific progress on FMD is changing the potential for control of the disease in South Asia. The principal themes of the conference are-Potential of current FMD research for the development of improved vaccines with properties that could reduce cost and achieve greater impact of vaccination programme, the importance of a comprehensive assessment of epidemiology and impact of control measures in the design of improved FMD control programmes, science and the monitoring and evaluation of Regionally Coordinated FMD programmes and the growing FMD scientific output from Eurasia.

Dr. Subhash Morzaria, Co-Chairman, Organizing Committee and Regional Manager, Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease, FAO Regional Office, Bangkok said that livestock is getting importance for food security in South Asia. To double the milk production by 2025, India has to control FMD. He hoped that a roadmap for eradication of FMD from South Asia will be framed during the conference.

Mr. Keith Sumption, Secretary, FAO said that south Asia is one of the seven major areas affected by FMD. Continuous and coordinated efforts can eradicate the FMD from this region. He suggested a sustainable national level programmes for every south Asian nation.

There will be about 600 participants, out of which 80 international participants from 22 countries attend the conference.

FMD is an acute, highly contagious and economically important disease of cloven-hoofed animals and wild ungulates.  More than 528 million livestock population are under the constant risk for FMD. The direct loss of this disease is Rs 20,000 crore/year apart from indirect losses. ICAR through its institute Project Directorate on FMD has developed required epidemiological information and contemporary diagnostics required for launching of FMD control programme in the country since 2003-04. The immediate objective of ICAR is to develop technologies for control of FMD in India with ultimate goal of eradication of FMD by 2030.

(Source-NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA)