Deputy Prime Minister Chumpol Silpa-archa yesterday presided over the opening of the 2nd FAO/OIE Global Conference on Foot and Mouth Disease Control, held by the Thai Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Held during 27th-29th June, the conference is attended by Agriculture Ministers from 30 countries, academics, international organizations as well as 175 member countries of the OIE and FAO. The conference focuses on mutually establishing a policy to control the spread of foot and mouth disease at national, regional and global levels. Additionally, a target has been set to eradicate this disease by the year 2020.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Theera Wongsamut explained that the foot and mouth disease is a contagious disease among cloven-hoofed animals, such as the ox, the buffalo, the goat and the pig. As the disease causes a large-scale damage to the economy each year, the government is forced to pour in large sums of money in a bid to control the spread of this disease. Countries, such as Japan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand, are now free of the foot and mouth disease. However, the disease can still be found in a number of countries.
On this occasion, Thailand has been given the opportunity to propse the area under the authority of the Office of Regional Livestock 2 as a foot and mouth free zone for the approval from the international community. Meanwhile, Thailand has demonstrated the country's capacity as the hub to the center of foot and mouth disease diagnosis in the Southeast Asian region.