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Telephone Talks between Yevgeny Nepoklonov, Deputy Head of the Rosselkhoznadzor, and Nigel Gibbens, British CVO

Opening the negotiations Yevgeny Nepoklonov stressed that prompt exchange of information about highly dangerous diseases, especially, avian influenza, is expedient.

He noted the transparency of work of the Russian Veterinary Service as well as its determination to perform regionalization causing the least possible harm to producers in case of disease outbreak. At the same time there’s no denying that the approach of the EU Veterinary Authorities is quite tough – following avian influenza outbreak in wild birds in the Far East in December 2014 poultry export to the EU from the entire country was suspended for a year. Yevgeny Nepoklonov also reminded Nigel Gibbens of the prepared agreement on cooperation between the Federal Centre of Animal Health, Russian Veterinary Reference Centre, and Weybridge Veterinary Laboratory, EU and UK Reference Centre. The agreement, in particular, provides for field virus isolate exchange.

Nigel Gibbens highly estimated The Rosselkhoznadzor’s approach to international cooperation. He agreed on the necessity to create a system of rapid exchange of information on avian influenza including communication on virus sequencing and field strain exchange. Herewith, Nigel Gibbens mentioned that Weybridge Veterinary Laboratory is ready to provide Russian scientists with strains that caused outbreaks in Great Britain, but the EU consent is necessary to share the virus strains isolated in other EU countries.  Regular scientist exchanges can also contribute to development of cooperation, Yevgeny Nepoklonov mentioned. The parties stressed that it is reasonable to sign the agreement between the Russian and British Veterinary Centres at the earliest opportunity.

Yevgeny Nepoklonov also specified that is relevant to strengthen international cooperation in control of other highly dangerous diseases, especially, FMD. Situation in Transcaucasia, Turkey and Central Asia is quite alarming. In particular FMD outbreak was reported in Armenia at the Turkish border. It was caused by the strain which had been previously detected only in India. Monitoring for antibodies to FMD in cattle in Transcaucasia revealed latent virus circulation. It threatens the entire European continent. EuFMD, chaired by Jean-Luk Angot, can greatly contribute to prevention of FMD spread to Europe. There are risks of other highly dangerous disease spread – sheep pox, lumpy skin disease, and peste des petits ruminants.

Nigel Gibbens noted that he also shares apprehensions on a possible FMD outbreak in the Greater Caucasus. He supposes that the main concern is Turkey as Indian and other Asian strains can easily penetrate to its territory. Therefore FMD introduction from Turkey to Europe poses the greatest risk. Nigel Gibbens also agreed that it is relevant to coordinate international efforts aimed at monitoring, prevention and control of other highly dangerous animal diseases. Regular scientist exchanges, video and telephone conferences are to play a considerable role in risk assessment.

Feb 4, 2016

Categorys: Events , Administration , Veterinary