New wave of livestock disease – just over horizon
As the world’s chief government vets meet in Paris (World Animal Health Organisation –OIE- General Session 25 to 30 May 2008) the commercial veterinary world is warning of a new wave of livestock diseases threatening the farming order of Europe.
Paul van Aarle of Intervet says that after Bluetongue, we can expect to see Rift Valley Fever and West Nile-virus arriving in Europe before long. According to Dr van Aarle, both national and European money must be made available to tackle such threats. The control of animal disease should be placed much higher on the economic agenda. Since the lack of funding for research means that two or three years elapse before vaccines can be developed, the delay in giving the vaccine companies a clear mandate meant that, in spite of the best efforts of the companies, vaccine against Bluetongue (BTV-8) has only just begun arriving in European countries.
Bernard Vallat, the Director General of the OIE, said recently that compared to the social, economic and environmental cost of disasters resulting from epizootics such as FMD and avian flu, the cost of preventing crises is relatively insignificant
All these and many other issues too are on the agenda for the ORC Organic Animal Health Colloquium being held in Oxford June 2nd and 3rd. A full report will be available on this website after the event.