PR No.127
Islamabad: October 14, 2021

Federal Minister of National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam chaired a consultative workshop on “Pakistan Foot & Mouth Disease Control Program – A National Roadmap” organized by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with Ministry of National Food Security and Research on 14th October, 2021. Federal Minister for National Food and Security Syed Fakhar Imam said that Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a menace that causes approximately USD 693 million dollars' loss to economy in a single year however never accounted for in the country. Of the 181 member countries of OIE 113 including Pakistan are affected to various degree by FMD. The remaining 68 countries are enjoying FMD free status however are under constant threat of an incursion from FMD endemic countries through international trade. That is why they restrict trade from such countries or allow entry of only those products which have no risk of carrying FMD agent to their country. Thus 75% of the costs attributed to FMD prevention and control are incurred by FMD affected countries. Fakhar Imam said that FAO has implemented number of programs on FMD in Pakistan funded by different donors like Italy, USA and Japan. Under these program surveillance of FMD was carried out which indicated that O,A and asia-I strains of FMD were circulated in different parts of the country. There were some areas where mix strains of FMD virus were detected. As many as 20,495 dairy Farmers were trained in FMD prevention and more than 16 veterinary professionals were trained in FMD diagnosis, disease investigation and response. Around 8-11 million doses of FMD vaccine were imported and used for ring vaccination around the epicentre of FMD outbreak. The peri urban diaries were also included in the project and it was proved that FMD occurrence can be prevented by vaccinating animal twice a year with good quality vaccine. Furthermore, he said that it is time now to react to this very neglected subsector of agriculture which contributes to over 61% to agriculture value addition and more than 11% in overall GDP. In the initial step we need to prevent occurrence of diseases especially the trade limiting diseases like FMD. Federal Minister said that development of national FMD control program will be presented to the planning commission. He said this program shall include but not limited to establishment of FMD Free zone through mass vaccination; risk based Strategic Vaccination for FMD hotspots in rest of the country; developing and implementing animal identification system at national level to monitor the movement of animals across the country; FMD vaccine shall be produced locally to make the program cost effective in the longer run through own and or donor's assistance.