Manual on the preparation of national animal disease emergency preparedness plans..PDF
African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources
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Animal disease emergencies: their nature and potential consequences Animal disease emergencies may occur when there are unexpected outbreaks of epidemic diseases or other animal health related events which have the potential to cause serious socio-economic consequences for a couniry. These emergencies are frequently caused by outbreaks of transboundary animal diseases (TADs), which are of significant economic, trade and/or food security importance for many countries. Such diseases can spread easily and reach epidemic proportions; control/management, including exclusion, requires cooperation among several countries. The occurrence of one of these diseases may have disastrous consequences for a country when they: • compromise food security through serious loss of animal protein and/or loss of draught animal power for cropping; • cause major production losses for livestock products such as meat, milk and other dairy products, wool and other fibres, and skins and hides; • cause losses of valuable livestock of high genetic potential. They may also restrict opportunities for upgrading the production potential of local livestock industries by making it difficult to import exotic high-producing breeds that are extremely susceptible to TADs; • add significantly to the cost of livestock production since costly disease control measures need to be applied; • seriously disrupt or inhibit trade in livestock, gerrnplasm, and livestock products, either within a country or internationally. Their occurrence may thus cause major losses in national export income in significant livestockproducing countries; • inhibit sustained investment in livestock production, thus trapping livestock producers in uneconomic, peasant-type agriculture; • cause public health consequences where diseases can be transmitted to humans (i.e. zoonoses); • cause environmental consequences when wildlife populations die out; and • cause unnecessary pain and suffering to many animals. The International Office of Epizootics (OIE) recognizes 15 List A diseases, most of which could also be regarded as being TADs. These are foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), rinderpest, peste des petits ruminants (PPR), contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Rift Valley fever (RVF), lumpy skin disease, vesicular stomatitis, swine vesicular disease, bluetongue, sheep and goat pox, African horsesickness, African swine fever, hog cholera (classical swine fever), fowl plague and Newcastle disease. Examples of the serious consequences that these and other diseases have had internationally are shown in the Box. However, this list is not exclusive. Other viral, bacterial, rickettsial and mycoplasmal diseases may also be regarded as having the potential to cause animal disease emergencies under some circumstances. Indeed they may not necessarily be infectious diseases. For example, animal pests such as the New World and Old World screwworin flies may fit into this category. Most people tend to equate emergency animal diseases with exotic or foreign animal diseases, although this is not necessarily so. Unusual outbreaks of endemic diseases may also cause an emergency when there is, for instance, the appearance of a new antigenic type such as a significantly different FMD virus subtype in an endemic country or when there is a significant change in the epidemiological pattern of the disease such as an unusually severe outbreak of anthrax. The emergence of previously unknown diseases may also cause an emergency, as in the case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the United Kingdom in 1986, equine paramyxovirus disease (Hendra virus) in Australia in 1994 and Nipah virus disease of pigs and humans in peninsular Malaysia in 1999. There are other animal health emergencies that may be caused by non-disease events, for example a major chemical residue problem in livestock or a food safety problem such as haemorrhagic uraemic syndrome in humans caused by verotoxic strains of E. coli contaminating animal products. While this manual will focus on the major transboundary animal diseases, the preparedness planning principles discussed can and should be applied equally to all types of disease and non-disease animal health emergencies described.
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