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Product title :

Lessons from the foot and mouth disease outbreak in the Netherlands in 2001

Author(s) : F.H. Pluimers, A.M. Akkerman, P. van der Wal, A. Dekker & A. Bianchi

Summary :

The Netherlands had recently developed a new strategy for the eradication of foot and mouth disease (FMD). When FMD was confirmed in Great Britain and France, recent imports of susceptible animals from these countries were traced and preventive measures were taken. On 21 March 2001, FMD was confirmed in the Netherlands. The disease was introduced by calves which became infected at a staging post in Mayenne, France, where infected sheep from Great Britain were present. A total of 26 farms were infected. Emergency vaccination of all susceptible animals was applied. Suppressive vaccination was chosen, implying that all vaccinated animals had to be slaughtered. Ring vaccination of all susceptible animals within 2 km of an infected herd was the standard procedure. However, in the ‘Noord Veluwe’, vaccination had to be applied to a larger area. The last affected farm was confirmed on 22 April 2001. Emergency vaccination contained the FMD infection rapidly. The last vaccinated animal was slaughtered on 25 May 2001. Many farmers were not convinced that the killing of their healthy, vaccinated animals was justified and tried to prevent the culling, but without success. Politicians and the public at large are now strongly opposed to the large-scale slaughter of vaccinated animals should a future outbreak of FMD occur. The Office International des Epizooties (OIE: World organisation for animal health) should incorporate control of vaccinated animals with non-structural protein (NSP) tests in the chapter on FMD in the International Animal Health Code.

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