Animal health law needed to combat diseases
VietNamNet Bridge – Experts believe the 2004 Animal Health Ordinance is no longer suitable to cope with the rapid increase in livestock- and poultry-to-human diseases, and thus call for a law on animal health for better prevention and control of diseases.

Many problems concerning pathogens have existed for years, but the Animal Health Ordinance enacted in 2004 has yet to adopt any workable solution.

The dissemination of guidelines, preventive measures and risks of animal diseases is not well done. Both people and local governments are neglectful of disease prevention and control, according to the Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Associate Professor Nguyen Viet Khong from the National Institute of Veterinary Research under the agriculture ministry remarked the control over livestock and poultry transport was not strict. This job is mainly done by an interdisciplinary inspection team, while local governments rarely conduct a thorough check.

Sanctions against poultry smuggle are not heavy enough. There is currently no regulation for managing the transport of fewer than 50 heads of poultry.

Besides, the lack of coordination between local authorities and relevant agencies and organizations has made cross-border cattle transport go unchecked. Many border provinces lack animal quarantine areas.

Some livestock development projects do not comply with the regulations on breeding, quarantine and vaccination, leading to the spread of diseases.

Therefore, a law on animal health will be soon compiled and submitted to the National Assembly, said the Department of Animal Health.

The early promulgation of the Law on Animal Health will help the veterinary authorities perfect the strategy for avian influenza prevention for the period 2013-2017 and effectively implement the national programs for fighting avian flu and foot and mouth disease.

With the introduction of the Law on Animal Health, the State will invest in veterinary activities, including scientific research, technology development, personnel training, and upgrade of the disease information and surveillance system.

With clear regulations and specific policies on tax incentives and infrastructure, livestock farmers can develop networks for more effective disease prevention.

Moreover, veterinary facilities need to be rebuilt under the law because they play an important role in disease prevention, disease outbreak supervision and vaccination when dangerous infectious diseases occur.

The initiative in disease prevention and control should be made into law for proactive disease surveillance and forecasting during the process of animal husbandry, transport, slaughter and trading. In addition, the power of local governments over new and sporadic outbreaks should be further specified.

Source: SGT
Animal health law, combat diseases, effective disease prevention, fighting avian flu