Traceback systems in most countries of Asia are not well developed, as indicated by responses to a questionnaire by veterinary officials in thirteen countries. Marking of animals for traceback is practised only in a limited number of countries in specific areas or zones and for specific purposes only.
In Malaysia, traceback has been undertaken by marking farm code tattoos on pigs. This enables the identification of the farm of origin of pigs found to be infected by Nipah virus in sero-surveillance programmes.
The origin of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus that surfaced in the Republic of Korea in March 2000 was investigated through several epidemiological studies of suspected sources of contamination such as imported hay, yellow sand, milk collection trucks and feed delivery trucks. None of these studies gave results that indicated the origin of the FMD virus. The origin of the FMD virus that was recorded in Japan in March 2000 was also investigated in epidemiological studies; in this case, imported wheat straw was incriminated as the most likely source of infection. Comparative studies of the pathogenicities of FMD (type O) viruses isolated in Taipei China, the Republic of Korea and Japan, suggest that these viruses might have originated as vaccine strains used in a third country.