Sept 29 2006 ~ " to encourage us to all progress, to all reach a more efficient way in handling and effectively controlling animal disease outbreaks"
From Biological disasters of animal origin The role and preparedness of veterinary and public health services , a collection of articles edited and collated by Dr Martin Hugh-Jones See pdf
Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE, in the Preface to this special issue of the Scientific and Technical Review writes:
"... if governments respond to this threat by merely re-publishing existing disease control procedures with a few minor improvements, their veterinary and public health services will not be able to take the appropriate prophylactic actions and their countries will be inadequately defended .."Dr Hugh-Jones' Introduction describes a situation all too familiar:
"... As we move forward, our past sometimes stays with us....... ..we depend on a veterinary corps with decreasing hands-on experience in handling epidemics. ..... planning and training must depend on valid models. To prevent public panic, communications must be transparent. Laboratory support must be able to respond to surge demands as well as forensic investigations. These issues and many others (e.g. herd registration, inter-agency coordination, rapid field diagnostics and geographic information systems-based data entry are covered by recognised experts in this timely publication..."
"scientific opportunism"Included in the collection is the paper by R.P. Kitching, M.V. Thrusfield & N.M. Taylor Use and abuse of mathematical models: an illustration from the 2001 foot and mouth disease epidemic in the United Kingdom we read
" The UK experience provides a salutary warning of how models can be abused in the interests of scientific opportunism."
The problem is not lack of technology but failure of public policyAs Roger Breeze writes in his own contribution Technology, public policy and control of transboundary livestock diseases in our lifetimes
"There are no technological barriers to eliminating major transboundary livestock diseases. Elimination means that diseases no longer threaten livestock in the developed world nor the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of small farmers elsewhere. The problem is not lack of technology but failure of public policy."
"opportunity to demonstrate responsiveness to national accountability and international cooperation"The concluding remark of Making better use of technological advances to meet stakeholder needs M.J. Marshall, P.A. Roger & J.B. Bashiruddin is worth quoting in full
"The establishment of the Animal Health Foresight Project (49, 50), which was discussed at the USAHA meeting in 2005 and which encapsulates the ideas in this paper, appears to have been subject to a very quiet approach. The responsibility for informing stakeholders rests with the CVOs and national governments of each participating country, providing an exciting opportunity to demonstrate responsiveness to national accountability and international cooperation.
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