The FAO, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have initiated a global system called the Global Early Warning and Response System (GLEWS), which is capable of forewarning the transmission of animal diseases to humans.
Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE said From an animal health point of view, controlling contagious animal diseases in their early stages is easier and less expensive for the international community. In cases of zoonoses this system will enable control measures that can also benefit public health.
Many diseases that have originated in animals, for example, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and avian influenza which have spread because they were not controlled in time and at the source, again because of inappropriate detection measures. With the GLEWS in place, a concerted effort will be launched worldwide to effectively meet such emergencies and combat potential disease threat to humans.