XI Symposium of the International Society for Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics,

Cairns, Australia, 6-11 August 2006



ABSTRACT for oral presentation – Theme 6 Global Response – FMD






Foot and Mouth Disease :  Critical Analysis of Emergency Preparedness Main Weakness



Prof.Dr  Kouba Vaclav

University of Veterinary Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic


Foot and mouth disease (FMD) representing permanent threat to all the countries has caused enormous losses in spite of well prepared contingency plans. The main problem was their transfer into field practice  where FMD occurrence and control start and end. Late discovery of primary as well as of secondary outbreaks delayed anti-FMD measures on the spot and at managerial levels facilitating further spread reflected in primary-to-secondary outbreaks ratio values. The contingency plans underestimated key role of field veterinary personnel in FMD timely discovery. Many plans do not consider that there are very few veterinarians having personal experience of FMD. The others, mostly not practically trained, are not prepared for extremely exigent field investigating and diagnosing under rapidly changing emergency conditions requiring immediate response on the spot. Undergraduate education and postgraduate training are usually not sufficient to teach necessary skills for the identification of : FMD suspect, diseased, threatened and free animals and herds, first affected animals,  the best samples for laboratory investigations, outbreaks and perifocal areas limits, virus sources and transmission ways as well as effective measures at infected premises. Useful FMD simulation exercises are mainly for managerial personnel and not also for field working veterinarians. Unprepared veterinary service staff has proved to be the main weakness of anti-FMD emergency preparedness. The paper ends with methodology for practical field FMD simulation exercises based on the principle „learning by doing“.