NEPAL - A visit to Nepal last year to learn about foot and mouth disease provided valuable lessons 'in the field' for a group of New Zealand veterinarians and industry representatives from Beef + Lamb and Dairy NZ.
Team member and Oamaru veterinarian Ivan Holloway will share his experiences of the week-long trip to Nepal with New Zealand Veterinary Association Sheep, Beef and Deer conference delegates in Queenstown this week (3-5 June 2015).
He will discuss the hair-raising road trip to visit an outbreak site where buffalo, cattle and goats all exhibited symptoms of the dangerous disease.
The trip to Nepal was to ensure that New Zealand veterinarians are well prepared for an emergency in New Zealand.
“The risks of an outbreak in our country are very real, and potentially extraordinarily costly.”
"Most New Zealand veterinarians have little first hand experience with the disease, yet it is one of the most significant animal disease threats to the New Zealand livestock industry, with the Ministry for Primary Industries estimating losses of $5.8 billion for a small outbreak (one property) to more than $14 billion for a large outbreak.
"The effect on New Zealand cannot be underestimated. FMD would have a major economic, environmental and psychological impact.”
"Can you imagine the public outrage and condemnation of mass burning of carcasses as happened in the 2001 UK outbreak?"
While the western world is largely free of FMD, it continues to be endemic throughout Asia.
Ivan Holloway says modern eco-tourism in these countries pose a real threat to our borders as New Zealand citizens return from holidays.
"While providing a useful hand-up for Nepal in terms of them dealing with this disease, our visit has helped to provide New Zealand with a valuable pool of trained and aware specialists who would be front line staffers in the event of an outbreak in this country.”
TheCattleSite News Desk