Stability of the epizootic situation in Russia, as well as
in any other country, is daily under threat. Such factors as climate change,
expanding trade and economic ties, tourism, and migration increase the risks of
introduction and spread of transboundary animal diseases, including zoonoses. Southern
parts of Russia are most at risk and creation of the so-called buffer zones
together with the active measures taken jointly with the bordering countries
will be the best way to prevent spread of the disease agents.
Over the past few years the Rosselkhoznadzor has assisted
the neighbouring countries in improving health status of their animal
population and in transfer of the “buffer” zone to their territories. The work
resulted in significant improvement of the epizootic situation in Kazakhstan
and Mongolia. In order to improve “global animal health”, Russia takes active
measures as a member of international organizations. Thus, the Rosselkhoznadzor
has regularly pointed to the necessity to implement sub-regional approach to
control spread of animal diseases, taking into account geographical and social
and economical environment and peculiarities of livestock production. Thus,
representatives of the veterinary services of Russia, Mongolia and China
annually meet under the auspices of FAO. At the meetings they discuss and plan
joint actions to consolidate their approaches to control disease spread and to
exchange updated information.
In recent times, the epizootic situation has significantly
deteriorated in the Transcaucasus. A new
FMD type and PPR agent were introduced into the region, lumpy skin disease and
sheep goat pox virus established themselves, thus, becoming an issue of great
concern to the veterinary services of the neighbouring countries.
Executive Committee of the European Commission for FMD
Control (EuFMD) held a meeting in the Hague (the Netherlands) on the 9-10th of March,
2016 and Russian Federation (the Rosselkhoznadzor) was invited as the observer
During the meeting spokesmen for the member states and for
the international organizations (FAO/OIE) exchanged their ideas about
prevention of FMD introduction into the European region from Transcaucasia, the
Middle East and North Africa.
The Rosselkhoznadzor representatives expressed their views
on prospects for retaining FMD-free status in Russia and also in the neighbouring
countries, primarily, in Europe. Transcaucasia is constantly affected by different
animal diseases and some countries deliberately conceal information on the
epizootic situation, so that to retain transit through their territories, or refer
to their endemic status, thus, increasing the risk of the disease spread. The
Rosselkhoznadzor assumed it was necessary to develop and implement a
subregional programme on control of animal diseases in the region under the auspices
of international organizations. Such a programme will help to assess the real
situation in the region, to improve readiness of the national veterinary
services for diagnostic and control measures and will urge the countries to be
more transparent about their actions. Leading regional and world research
centres having a rich experience in control of animal diseases, could be
involved in the programme implementation. The proposed approach was supported
by the Committee members. The following key problems of the veterinary services
in the region were noted during the discussion: the absence of transparency
about the measures taken, lack of material and methodological resources. FMD can be taken as an example to use a
consolidated approach aimed at improving health status of the territory and at
preventing introduction of new disease agents.
As a result of the meeting, it was agreed that a regional
working group should be created, comprising chief veterinary officers of
Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Iran or their representatives.
The first meeting of the working group, that will be primarily devoted to
exchange of information and expansion of cooperation, is due to be held within
the next General Session of the World Assembly of OIE Delegates.