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Majilis ratifies OIE office on FMD in Astana

Majilis ©Daniyal Okassov Majilis ©Daniyal Okassov

The lower chamber of Kazakhstan’s Parliament - the Majilis - has approved the draft law On ratification of the Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on launching a Sub-Regional Coordination Office of the OIE for Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Astana, Tengrinews reports citing Bnews.kz. The agreement was signed by Kazakh Minister of Agriculture Assylzhan Mamytbekov and the General Director of the International Epizootic Bureau Bernard Vallat in October 2013.

Kazakhstan has been a member of the OIE since April 1993.

The document provides legal ground for the establishment of the OIE Sub-Regional Coordination Office in Kazakhstan's capital city as well as outlines its duties, privileges and immunities in Kazakhstan.

According to the document, Kazakhstan will provide voluntary contribution amounting to $250,000 for proper functioning of the office in Astana. These funds and the budget of the office are controlled by the head office of the OIE in Paris, France.

Under the agreement, the scope of the Office’s work includes monitoring the epizootic situation in the region, exchange of operational information and new of latest technologies on control of FMD, collection, analysis and spread of scientific information on FMD, assistance in the improvement of the legislative base for the implementation of the program of progressive control of FMD at the national level in the sub-region, establishment and running the sub-regional FMD vaccine bank, and other activities entrusted by the Director General of the OIE in agreement with Kazakhstan’s authorities to the office.

The head and the personnel of the office are appointed by the Director General of the OIE in agreement with Kazakhstan’s Government.

FMD is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids and that can be spread to humans. The virus causes a high fever for two or three days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.

FMD has severe implications for animal farming, since it is highly infectious and can be spread by infected animals through aerosols, through contact with contaminated farming equipment, vehicles, clothing, or feed, and by domestic and wild predators. Its containment demands considerable efforts in vaccination, strict monitoring, trade restrictions, and quarantines, and occasionally the killing of animals.

The establishment of such office is a step towards improvement of animal health through control and prevention of animal diseases. Improvement of animal health will have a positive effect on animal farming in the region.

By Assel Satubaldina

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