Published as Appendix 6 (i) to Report of the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, Rome, Italy, 27-30 April 1993
NATIONAL CONTINGENCY PLANS
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FMD CONTINGENCY PLANS INCLUDING
ACTIONS IN NON-VACCINATING COUNTRIES
1. Legal powers
2. Financial provisions
3. National disease control centres
4. Local disease control centres
5. Expert teams
6. The resources required for disease emergencies (Personnel)
7. The resources required for disease emergencies (equipment and facilities)
8. Instructions for dealing with FMD outbreaks
9. Diagnostic laboratories
10. Contingency plans for vaccination
12. Publicity - disease awareness
SECTION 1 - LEGAL POWERS
1.1 Each country should have legal powers to ensure that a campaign against FMD is rapidly and successfully concluded. The legal powers should be clearly understood by all involved with disease control and should be described in the instruction manual for dealing with FMD outbreaks (see Section 8).
1.2 The legal powers should encompass :
- the compulsory notification of any suspected case of FMD,
- authority to collect samples for laboratory investigation,
- the killing of infected and contact animals,
- the payment of compensation,
- zoo-sanitary and other procedures on infected premises,
- the control of movement and other restrictions (including the designation of protection and surveillance zones),
- emergency vaccination.
SECTION 2 - FINANCIAL PROVISIONS
2.1 Each country should ensure that it has provision for access to emergency funds and the budgetary powers and financial resources to cover the cost of dealing with all aspects of an FMD epidemic.
The main areas of expenditure are :
- the cost of personnel over and above normal running costs,
- the cost of capital equipment and consumable items,
- the cost of killing, disposal of carcasses/contaminated material and zoo-sanitary measures,
- the cost of compensation payments to stock owners,
- the cost of emergency vaccination.
2.2 The farming community can be expected to co-operate only if valuation is fair and compensation for killed stock is paid promptly. National authorities should endeavour to ensure that payments are made no later than 60 days after the killing of stock.
SECTION 3 - NATIONAL DISEASE CONTROL CENTRES
3.1 Each country establish a permanent DISEASE CONTROL CENTRE at the national level. In the event of an outbreak of FMD the centre should co-ordinate all control measures within the national territory. Although the centre is established primarily for the control of FMD, the facilities may also be used for the control of other List A diseases.
3.2 The centre should be in proximity to the office of the Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) who is ultimately responsible for the co-ordination of all control measures. The CVO may delegate day-to-day responsibilities in this area to a veterinarian designated as the head of the control centre.
3.3 The National disease control centre should be kept in a state of readiness for a disease outbreak. Its main task is to direct and monitor the operations of the local disease control centre or centres and the responsibilities include :
- the overall direction of control strategies,
- the deployment of staff and other resources to local centres,
- the provision of information to OIE and FAO and to neighbouring countries, to national agricultural and trading bodies and to the press and other media, the release of vaccine for use within the country and the determination of vaccination zones,
- liaison with the national diagnostic laboratory.
3.4 The Centre should be equipped with :
- all suitable means of communication including telephones, telex, data lines, and telefax; facilities for the press are desirable,
- maps covering the area of the country (preferably at 1:50,000 scale),
- lists of national organizations which will be affected by and must be contacted in the event of disease outbreaks (e.g. AI organizations),
- lists of staff and other persons who can be called upon immediately to serve at local disease control centres or in Expert Teams in the event of a disease outbreak. These lists should record practical experience or training in the control of List A diseases and language abilities.
3.5 The staffing of a National disease control centre is dealt with in Section 6.
SECTION 4 - LOCAL DISEASE CONTROL CENTRES
4.1 Each country should establish one or more Local disease control centres which may be the existing local veterinary offices. The number and location of the centres should be such that staff operating out of a centre can easily reach any livestock holding within the area under its control and return to the centre within a day. In those countries which have a small land area the national centre may also serve as the local centre.
4.2 The National disease control centre should maintain a list of Local disease control centres and for each the name of the veterinarian in charge, the address of the centre, its telephone, telex, data lines, and telefax number and a map showing the area under its control.
4.3 In the event of a disease outbreak a temporary disease control centre may be set up that is convenient to the location of the infected premises. This centre should preferably be within the surveillance zone surrounding the primary outbreak.
4.4 The local centres should be under the charge of a veterinarian who is directly responsible to the veterinarian at the National disease control centre. All staff allocated to a centre for the period of the disease emergency should be under his/her de facto command. He/she should have the necessary authority to:
- designate a holding as an "infected premises" (after consultation with, and the sanction of, the National disease control centre if that is considered necessary).
- deploy the necessary staff and equipment to infected premises,
- arrange valuation and slaughter of infected and contact stock, the disposal of carcasses and contaminated material and zoo-sanitary procedures,
- advise on the delineation of protection and surveillance zones and the measures to be taken within them,
- impose movement restrictions within the protection and surveillance zones; close markets and abattoirs as necessary,
- liaise with police and other authorities over the nomination of infected premises and to maintain these movements and other restrictions.
4.5 Local disease control centres, whether permanent or temporary, should be equipped with :
- adequate telephone, telex, data lines, and telefax communications. At least one line should be reserved for communication with the national disease control centre,
- record systems; preferably these should be computer-based,
- maps covering the territory overseen by the centre (1:50,000 and if possible 1:10,000),
- lists of persons and organizations in the area covered by the centre who must be contacted in the event of a disease outbreak. These will include :
* artificial insemination organizations,
* milk cooperatives and dairies,
* local authorities responsible for control measures,
* other official services likely to visit farms,
* markets and auctioneers,
* private veterinarians,
* livestock and meat hauliers,
* animal disposal contractors,
* livestock valuers,
* feed suppliers,
* rodent control companies,
* local veterinary associations,
* hunting and shooting organizations; race tracks,
* slaughterhouses and meat processing plants,
* farmers union,
* telephone companies,
* local environmental health and waste disposal authorities
- contingency plans for all major abattoirs,
These lists should be kept up to date and a notification procedure established.
- facilities for informing the press and other media so that all persons are fully aware of the restrictions in force,
- equipment stores (see Section 7),
- facilities for cleaning and disinfecting personnel, clothing and vehicles.
SECTION 5 - EXPERT TEAMS
5.1 The prompt identification of the source and the possible consequences of a primary outbreak of FMD is crucial to the rapid eradication of the disease. Expertise in dealing with FMD outbreaks is already becoming scarce and all countries are recommended to create one or more Expert Teams that can provide a nucleus of expertise. The teams should be alerted when disease is first reported and deployed in the field as soon as it is confirmed. The staffing of these Expert Teams is dealt with in Sector 6.
5.2 The Expert Teams have two main responsibilities :
- to conduct an epidemiological investigation and where appropriate collect samples (epithelium, blood, milk, probangs etc) for submission to the National diagnostic laboratory to determine the extent and pattern of infection,
- through the head of the Expert Team to provide an epidemiological report for the head of the Local or National control centre,
- to advise the head of the Local disease control centre on the advisability of taking of samples (e.g. milk) from contiguous or other herds.
5.3 The epidemiological report from a primary outbreak should describe:
- the situation on the infected premises,
- the number and species of susceptible and other livestock; the method of husbandry,
- the number of clinically affected animals and the age of the oldest lesion(s),
- the size and location of the premises and its relationships with other holdings, public roads, etc.,
- the local meteorological situation unless this is available from a nearby meteorological station,
- the recent movements (livestock and personnel) on and off the holding.
5.4 On the basis of these findings the head of the team should advise the Local or National disease control centre on:
- the possible origin and the date of the introduction of infection,
- the likely period of infection on the premises/holding,
- the holdings most at risk from airborne spread or from movements.
5.5 The expert Team should not be responsible for the killing and disposal of stock or for tracing movements on and off the infected premises. These tasks are the responsibility of the Local disease control centre. However, countries may wish to consider including experts in zoo-sanitary measures and carcass disposal in their teams so that they can advise disease control centres on these aspects.
5.6 The team should be provided with sampling equipment (for 250 animals) and communication equipment. Mobile accommodation may be provided and sited just beyond the disinfection barrier outside the infected premises.
5.7 The Expert Team(s) should train staff in FMD control techniques and advise the National disease control centre on the development of new control initiatives.
SECTION 6 - THE RESOURCES REQUIRED FOR DISEASE EMERGENCIES
6.1 Experience has shown that the resource factor most critical to effective disease control is a sufficient number of trained and experienced personnel.
6.2 Each National Authority should maintain lists of staff available to deal with a disease emergency. The lists (to be held at the National disease control centre) should identify:
- the name and location of the staff members,
- qualifications e.g. veterinarian,
- practical experience of List A diseases (specifying the disease),
- language abilities - in the event of a call for assistance from another country,
- training undertaken (see Section 11).
6.3 If some personnel are not under the direct control of the Chief Veterinary Officer there should be a firm agreement preferably in writing between the Chief Veterinary Officer and the employers of such personnel for their immediate release.
6.4 National Disease Control Centres
The veterinarian in charge of a National disease control centre would have at his/her command veterinarians and other staff who have been trained in the management of diseases emergencies (see Section 11).
6.5 Local Disease Control Centre
The staff at Local disease control centres should include :
- Senior Veterinarian in charge,
- veterinarians trained
* in the diagnosis of FMD
* in slaughter, zoo-sanitary and other procedures at infected premises,
* the operation of movement controls and other restrictions,
- support staff who are trained in
* the procedures at infected premises,
* the operation of movement controls and other procedures,
- office staff trained in the maintenance of record systems required for FMD control.
6.6 All staff who are, or may be, allocated to disease control centres should be regularly retrained in disease control procedures and the clinical diagnosis of FMD (see Section 11).
6.7 Expert Teams
Each country should create one or more Expert Teams. The responsibilities of these teams are described in Section 5. Each team should consist of :
- a Senior Veterinarian experienced (or trained) in FMD clinical diagnosis including the ageing of lesions. He/she should also be trained in the epidemiology of the disease.
- a laboratory scientist experienced in laboratory tests for FMD,
- a meteorologist knowledgeable of the weather conditions which may aid the spread of FMD.
6.8 Personnel Resources in the Member State
Each National Authority should ensure that it has immediately available sufficient trained staff to deal with, at any one time, up to 10 outbreaks and to properly maintain surveillance in the 3 Km radius protection zone associated with each. It has been estimated that a trained veterinarian can visit and examine stock at no more than 5 holdings on one day if he/she properly undertakes the required disinfection procedures at each place.
Note : These scope of activities may need to be modified in some countries according to the local livestock husbandry situation.
6.9 If a National Authority does not have the resources suggested in para 8 above, contingency arrangements should be in place to arrange for deployment from other countries.
SECTION 7 - THE RESOURCES REQUIRED FOR DISEASE EMERGENCIES,
- EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
7.1 The effective control of FMD depends on the immediate availability of equipment and immediate access to facilities provided by public and private sector utilities.
7.2 Each country should have readily available at Local disease control centres or at some other convenient place at least the following equipment :
- protective clothing,
- disinfectants effective against FMD virus, detergents and soaps,
- pumps, shovels and scrapers,
- humane killers and ammunition, lethal drugs and other approved means of killing animals,
- autopsy and sampling equipment,
- sign post/warning notices for use in infected premises in protection/ surveillance zones,
- maps (1:50,000 and 1:10,000),
- vaccination equipment,
- exhaust air filters for bulk milk tankers.
7.3 The veterinarian in charge of the Local disease control centre should have standing arrangements for access to :
- combustible materials,
- digging equipment,
- flame guns,
- knapsack sprayers and other means of disinfection.
7.4 Whilst it is preferable to dispose of carcasses by burning or burying them on the holdings, in some situations this may not be possible. If this is so, countries should develop arrangements for transporting carcasses in sealed vehicles to sites for disposal or destruction.
7.5 Each local disease control centre should have available office equipment including:
- office furniture, photocopiers, etc.,
- record systems specifically designed for FMD outbreaks; preferably these should be computer based,
- preprinted proformas such as:
* formal notices of restriction,
* notices for public display,
* epidemiological reports,
* tracing requests and reports,
* movement permits.
SECTION 8 - INSTRUCTIONS FOR DEALING WITH FMD OUTBREAKS
8.1 Each National Authority should prepare a set of instructions (a manual) for dealing with FMD outbreaks.
8.2 The instructions should cover :
The legal basis for
- the notification of suspected FMD,
- the killing of animals, valuation and compensation payments,
- zoo-sanitary and other procedures at infected premises,
- the control of movements,
- emergency vaccination.
8.3 The responsibilities of and the working arrangements for:
- the National disease control centre,
- Local disease control centres,
- the Expert Teams.
8.4 When FMD is reported the action to be taken:
- in the case of a suspected case,
- a case confirmed on clinical grounds only,
- a case fully confirmed (clinical and laboratory tests),
- the submission of material to the National FMD Laboratory,
- the notification of police, local authorities, agricultural associations etc.
8.5 The producers at an "infected premises"
- the isolation of the premises,
- valuation and compensation,
- the slaughter of livestock,
- carcass disposal; contaminated material disposal,
- zoo-sanitary measures (disinfection, decontamination, cleaning),
8.6 Creation of protection and surveillance zones :
- census of all livestock holdings,
- regular surveillance of all livestock holdings,
- movement controls; arrangements with police and other authorities,
- prohibition of AI services, markets, agricultural shows, etc.,
- notices and other publicity,
- handling of milk according to approved procedures.
8.7 Movement tracing
A national Authority should employ a uniform tracing system.
8.8 Equipment and facilities
Arrangements for providing the equipment and facilities detailed in Section 4.
8.9 Epidemiological information
- to be provided by the Expert Teams,
- to be collected at Local disease control centres,
- to be provided to the National disease control centre,
- to be provided to OIE and FAO and neighbouring countries.
8.10 National publicity
SECTION 9 - Diagnostic Laboratories
9.1 Each National Authority should ensure that it has available at all times the services of an FMD diagnostic laboratory either in its own country or elsewhere.
9.2 The responsibilities and duties of National FMD laboratories are:
1. To provide a rapid laboratory diagnosis, especially in initial cases of FMD. (This applies whether or not regular prophylactic vaccination is employed.) An ELISA system of high sensitivity is recommended for diagnosis. The laboratory should keep in stock reference strains of all serotypes of FMD virus including relevant exotic strains (inactivated), and immune sera against the viruses, as well as all other reagents necessary for rapid establishment of an initial diagnosis.
Likewise, appropriate cell cultures should currently be available for confirming a definitive negative diagnosis.
2. In all suspected primary outbreaks, epithelial samples from vesicles must be collected and packed according to a set protocol. The samples should be quickly transported to the National Laboratory. In anticipation of a possible case of FMD, the appropriate equipment for sample collection and transportation to the National laboratory should be stored in readiness locally.
3. At the earliest possible occasion, the National Laboratory should send a sample of virus from the primary case to the Regional Laboratory and/or World Reference Laboratory (WRL), as appropriate, for confirmation and further characterization (including advice on the antigenical relations of the field strain to vaccine strains).
Ideally, an aliquot of field material should be sent; if this is not possible, animal passage material, obtained from the original host species, or low cell culture passage material is acceptable. The history of animal or cell passage material should be provided.
4. Representatives from the National Laboratory, the Meteorological Office and the State Veterinary Services, respectively, should currently be prepared to form an epidemiological team for emergency action.
5. The National Laboratory should be equipped and skilled for large scale serological examinations.
6. All laboratories manipulating FMD virus should operate under high security conditions as recommended in the FAO paper "Security Standards for FMD Laboratories".
The high security systems should be regularly inspected.
7. Members of the field section of the State Veterinary Services should have the opportunity of seeing clinical cases of FMD in the WRL or National Laboratories as part of their training.
9.4 National FMD laboratories must be equipped and skilled for providing a rapid initial diagnosis and also for large-scale serological surveillance.
SECTION 10 - Contingency plans for vaccination
10.1 Emergency vaccination may be introduced when FMD has been confirmed and threatens to become extensive.
10.2 As part of their contingency plans countries should establish or have access to facilities that will allow the prompt provision of vaccine.
10.3 "Cold chain" facilities should be established for the distribution of the vaccine so that it is, at all times, kept under cool temperature conditions e.g. as specified in the European Pharmacopoeia. These facilities should be available:
- at a point where vaccine is delivered to a country for further distribution,
- at or near Local disease control centres for distribution to the veterinarians who will administer this vaccine.
Refrigerated storage and transport facilities should be available which will allow the distribution of the vaccine well within the shelf-life of the product.
Vaccination equipment should be held at Local disease control centres or at some other convenient place. Sufficient vaccination needles should be stocked so that each herd can be vaccinated with a fresh unused needle.
Each country should prepare a list of personnel who can be called upon to undertake an emergency vaccination programme. Ideally these persons, if called upon, should have had no recent contact with FMD contaminated material or have visited an FMD infected premises. If they have been in contact with contaminated material or infected premises they should undergo rigorous disinfection including a full change of clothing before commencing vaccination duties.
Before a herd is vaccinated it must be examined by a veterinarian to ensure that the animals are not already showing FMD lesions.
SECTION 11 - TRAINING
11.1 Each country should ensure that staff are regularly trained in procedures for diagnosing and dealing with FMD.
11.2 Training of staff involved in FMD control
National Authorities should arrange for the regular training of all veterinary and support staff who may be engaged in dealing with FMD outbreaks. The training programmes should be led by members of Expert Teams with the support of staff who have experience of FMD. The training programme should include:
- the diagnosis of FMD (video presentations, etc),
- procedures at infected premises,
- procedures at Local disease control centres,
- procedures at National disease control centres,
- tracing exercises, record keeping,
- notification and publicity procedures.
The competence of staff in this area should be maintained by regular training exercises at national and local level. These should include simulated disease control operations.
SECTION 12 - PUBLICITY/DISEASE AWARENESS
12.1 State veterinary services rely on stockowners or on veterinarians attending farm animals to report the possibility of FMD. Reporting needs to be prompt and accurate so that all outbreaks are identified as soon as possible without raising too many false alarms.
12.3 Prompt and accurate reporting can only be achieved if the veterinary profession and stockowners are aware of danger of FMD and are conversant with the signs of the disease. To this end countries should maintain awareness of the disease both within the veterinary profession and in the agricultural community.
The veterinary profession - Material should be aimed at veterinary students and at practising veterinarians. Veterinary schools should be provided with material that is simple but comprehensive and describes :
- the clinical disease,
- the epidemiology of the disease,
- the notification procedures,
- the control measures,
- the epidemiological situation in neighbouring states and in those of trading partners.
The veterinary profession at large should be regularly provided with information that covers:
- current notification and control procedures,
- the epidemiological situation within the country and elsewhere.
Refresher courses arranged for veterinarians should include all List A diseases.
12.4 The agricultural community
Disease awareness campaigns should be targeted primarily at stockowners and non-professional personnel who regularly visit herds or flocks e.g. AI personnel and livestock hauliers.
The campaigns should emphasise:
- the importance of FMD,
- the clinical signs,
- the importance of prompt reporting,
- the availability of compensatory funds.
Appendix 6 (i)- Annex 1
EMERGENCY ACTIONS IN NON-VACCINATING COUNTRIES
- Suspicion of disease to be reported immediately to the appropriate authority.
- Immediate investigation by a veterinary officer of the appropriate authority.
- If FMD suspected - farm restrictions imposed immediately if not already in force to stop all movement of livestock, persons or inanimate objects onto or off the premises.
- Special arrangements may be needed if suspected FMD is reported at a market or slaughterhouse.
- Samples collected for immediate transportation to diagnostic laboratory by fastest possible route.
- When the disease has been confirmed in the area a total standstill on the movement of animals within three km of the infected place shall be imposed and remain in force.
- On farm investigations to continue and to include:
* total stock count,
* preliminary epidemiological investigation to include details of livestock movements on and off the premises, potential personnel contact with disease, or other potential sources of infection such as waste food. Also an assessment of potential for disease spread from the infected place,
* assessment of likely arrangements needed for slaughter and disposal of livestock, and any welfare problems anticipated while under restriction.
All confirmations of the existence of FMD to be made by the National Authority.
4. Infected premises procedures
After confirmation of disease rapid killing and disinfection is essential to reduce virus emission.
Procedures listed below may and usually will take place simultaneously:
- immediate valuation of livestock to assess compensation payable
- valuation to include contaminating feeding stuffs and bedding that cannot be disinfected,
- formal appeal procedure needed to ensure that disputes over valuation do not delay killing of stock.
(b) Killing and disposal of stock
As soon as valuation is completed all susceptible stock to be killed on the premises, starting with the animals exhibiting lesions. Heads and feet to be covered by plastic bags while awaiting disposal.
- disposal/destruction of carcasses to be contained on premises by burial (or cremation) subject to approval by Local Environmental Authorities,
- consideration may have to be given to disposal elsewhere, possibly via a destructor plant if it is possible under secure conditions,
- cleansing and disinfection,
- preliminary disinfection - yards, driveways, buildings surfaces to be sprayed with a disinfectant approved against FMD, to be repeated as soon as slaughter is completed,
- after removal of carcasses, thorough cleansing and disinfection of premises, equipment and materials. Any contaminated items, which cannot be satisfactorily disinfected to be buried or burned. Fumigation considered if necessary.
- special attention must be given to large quantities of slurry which may need chemical treatment and/or prolonged storage before release.
(c) Movement restrictions
- Protection Zone - A minimum of three km radius around the Infected Premises (IP) must be established as soon as FMD is confirmed. Farmers should be warned of the need to regularly inspect their stock and notify any suspicious signs if their farms are located within the Protection Zone. For 15 days after confirmation movements only permitted direct to slaughter, licensed, in emergency. Subsequently licensed slaughterhouse in same Protection Zone, provided 15 days elapsed since killing on IP, and subject to satisfactory inspection by Veterinary Officer. No markets, exhibitions or collecting centres permitted.
- Surveillance Zone3 - a minimum of 10 km radius around the Infected Premises. Must provide for adequate slaughtering facilities within clearly defined boundaries. Animal movements limited and permitted only under licence within the area. Artificial insemination banned except for semen stored on the farm where it is to be used. Resumption at discretion of officer-in-charge of Disease Control Centre.
- Animals may not be removed from the Surveillance Zone during the first 15 days. Between the 15th day and the 30th day the animals may not be removed from the said zone except to be transported under official supervision directly to a slaughterhouse for the purpose of emergency slaughter.
- Controlled Area - generally in force for a short period, can be very wide area to limit animal movement and to allow veterinary staff to trace and inspect potentially infected animals that may have been distributed widely, such as through a market. Movements licensed and animal gatherings prohibited other than markets for slaughter stock.
- Although movements of animals are permitted through Surveillance and Controlled Areas, under licence, none may pass through a Protection Zone.
- Collection of milk from farms within the Protection Zone is controlled and a detailed code of practice is followed. Vehicles and personnel follow rigorous cleansing and disinfection procedures, and air filters are fitted to the exhaust outlets of bulk milk tankers.
8. Removal of infected premises restrictions
Farm restrictions withdrawn six weeks after completion of slaughter or 30 days after completion of preliminary cleansing and disinfection, whichever is the earlier but subject to continued area controls where other infected premises have been identified. Withdrawal also subject to satisfactory inspection of premises and livestock on continuous premises.
Strategic ("ring") vaccination
The objective of strategic ("ring") vaccination used under emergency conditions is to dampen down the amount of virus circulating in the region and to reduce the risk of further spread.
The inner part of the strategic zone of vaccination should be beyond the area predicted to be already potentially contaminated on the basis of analysis using airborne prediction models and other epidemiological assessments. The area of the zone will be determined by a prediction of the area at risk, the geographical features, the number of doses and the manpower resources available.
The criteria on which the decision of whether or not to apply strategic vaccination is made should include the following:
- species of animals and their densities in the area;
- predicted risk of airborne virus spread;
- geography and other features of the area and practicability of delineating a strategic vaccination zone;
- an assessment of the economic consequences for trade;
- the presence of valuable breeding stock in the area at risk;
- environmental and welfare considerations and public opinion.