S. Forman, F. Le Gall, D. Belton, B. Evans, J.L. François, G. Murray, D. Sheesley, A. Vandersmissen & S. Yoshimura
Livestock contributes significantly to the world economy. However, animal diseases are still a major constraint on economic growth, the reduction of poverty and food security. Among the most significant diseases is foot and mouth disease (FMD), a highly contagious, multi-species animal disease with a devastating impact on national economies and trade. Less obvious is the severe constraint that FMD places on both development and the reduction of poverty in developing countries where this disease is endemic. As a result of its global implications and the high costs that it imposes on society, FMD is an infectious disease whose control and prevention are recognised as being a global public good. Moving towards the global control of FMD should be considered a priority for donors, but will require long-term commitment from all parties, strong political will from governments and concerted financial support from donors. Areas of intervention must fall within the framework of programmes developed by international organisations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), through the FAO/OIE Global Framework for the Progressive Control of FMD and Other Transboundary Animal Diseases, as well as the disease control programmes of the regions concerned. Such a goal should specifically focus on analytical work (micro-economic impact and cost-benefit analyses of FMD at the household level and on the poor), research, surveillance networks, communication, monitoring and evaluation, and continuous strengthening of Veterinary Services.