Animal disease epidemics: prevention is better than cure

Presentation of the case for disease prevention and animal health planning facilitated by the competence of animal keepers and their working in partnership with veterinary professionals.

Year of Publication2008

The first eight years of the 21st century have seen Classical Swine Fever, Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian influenza, Newcastle Disease, Bluetongue and other infections cause outbreaks in farmed animals in the UK. National and international rules are designed to combat infections and it is reasonable to expect they will reduce the consequences of outbreaks of new and emerging disease. But there is no such thing as zero risk: the consequence of recent outbreaks have been costly and damaging to farmers, the countryside and the economy. The globalization of trade in a ‘global supermarket’ will result in an ongoing threat, whilst vector borne viruses pose a serious challenge. Surveillance, biosecurity and disease control standards operate at national and international frontiers. But the ultimate opportunity to prevent disease at local level and the responsibility for animal welfare lies with the animal keeper. So an effective farm health plan will pay dividends in health and welfare. Animal keepers need information, training, competence and qualification to effectively fulfill their important role. Disease prevention as well as rapid and successful disease control also requires a solid working partnership between farmers and the veterinary services.

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newcastle diseasendfoot and mouth diseasefmdcsfclassical dswine feverbtvblue tongue virusavian inflenzaai
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