A two-day South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) conference of Chiefs of Veterinary Services began here today with a call to tackle bird flu and other trans-boundary animal diseases jointly.
Inaugurating the conference, Secretary (Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries) Dr. Pradeep Kumar offered to share with SAARC nations, India's laboratories and expertise in prevention and control of diseases like bird flu.
Dr. Kumar argued that all SAARC nations have similar livestock systems and economic and social realities and all the nations suffer from inadequacies of veterinary infrastructure and shortage of technical manpower. It is, therefore, imperative that they share veterinary information and know-how with neighboring countries, especially in dealing with trans-boundary diseases.
Emphasising that diseases spread between the countries without caring for borders, more so when there is steady movement of people and goods across the borders, Dr. Kumar called upon the delegates to evolve an action plan to tackle trans-boundary animal diseases.
Sharing of information immediately on onset of a major disease in a country is of paramount importance in checking spread of such a disease.
There is scope for coordination among SAARC nations in all areas of veterinary science ranging from capacity building, diagnosis and prophylaxis, to edidemiology, he said.
Chiefs of Veterinary Services from all SAARC countries are participating in the conference.