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Good emergency management practice: The essentials

A guide to preparing for animal health emergencies












This is a third edition of 2011 publication Good emergency management practice: the essentials - A guide to preparing for animal health emergencies

Last updated 22/11/2021, see Corrigendum


Gary, F., Clauss, M., Bonbon, E. & Myers, L. 2021. Good emergency management practice: The essentials – A guide to preparing for animal health emergencies. Third edition. 
FAO Animal Production and Health Manual No. 25. Rome, FAO.






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    In today’s world, the risk of spread of animal health diseases, within a country or across borders, is on the rise. Contributing factors include growing animal populations, increased movement of humans and animals, market intensification and global trade. Animal health services around the world play an essential role in curbing animal disease spread. They do so by increasing their capacity to manage animal health emergencies, preparing for such events during “peacetime” and reflecting on lessons learned during the “reconstruction phase”. These actions look to enhance a country’s state of operational readiness ahead of future events. Carrying out an After Action Review (AAR) of a country’s emergency response is an integral part of learning; it provides countries with the opportunity to highlight what they have done well and what gaps remain to be filled in terms of animal health emergency management. This AAR manual outlines current practices for organizational learning and how they can be applied in the context of animal health emergencies. It details the steps to perform an animal health emergency AAR and leads readers through designing, preparing, conducting and reporting on an AAR. Veterinary services and competent authorities responsible for managing the response to animal health emergencies can apply the principles discussed in this manual to AARs at the country level – or in other settings such as producer organizations, multicountry regional commissions or international organizations.
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    Good emergency management practice: the essentials
    A guide to preparing for animal health emergencies
    2011
    A disease emergency is one of the most challenging situations a veterinary service can confront. Veterinary services must be well prepared to deal with such an emergency in order to achieve rapid and cost-efficient control. To do this, the veterinary services must be prepared. They must have a well developed plan and the capacity to implement the plan. This manual sets out in a systematic way the elements required to achieve an appropriate level of preparedness for any disease emergency in animals. In particular, this manual focuses on the control of transboundary animal diseases. Some of the principles presented may also be helpful in preparing for food safety, zoonotic and even non-infectious disease emergencies.
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    Improving biosecurity through prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines in aquatic food production 2012
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    The current trend towards increasing intensification and diversification of global aquaculture has lead to its dramatic growth, thus making aquaculture an important food-producing sector that provides an essential source of aquatic protein for a growing human population. For both developed and developing countries, the sector is recognized as creator of jobs and an important source of foreign export earnings. The expansion of commercial aquaculture, as is the case in commercial livestock and pou ltry production, has necessitated the routine use of veterinary medicines to prevent and treat disease outbreaks due to pathogens, assure healthy stocks and maximize production. The expanded and occasionally irresponsible global movements of live aquatic animals have been accompanied by the transboundary spread of a wide variety of pathogens that have sometimes caused serious damage to aquatic food productivity and resulted in serious pathogens becoming endemic in culture systems and the natura l aquatic environment. The use of appropriate antimicrobial treatments is one of the most effective management responses to emergencies associated with infectious disease epizootics. However, their inappropriate use can lead to problems related to increased frequency of bacterial resistance and the potential transfer of resistance genes in bacteria from the aquatic environment to other bacteria. Injudicious use of antimicrobials has also resulted in the occurrence of their residues in aquacultur e products, and as a consequence, bans by importing countries and associated economic impacts, including market loss have occurred. Since disease emergencies can happen even in well-managed aquaculture operations, careful planning on the use antimicrobials is essential in order to maximize their efficacy and minimize the selection pressure for increased frequencies of resistant variants. The prudent and responsible use of veterinary medicines is an essential component of successful commercial aq uaculture production systems. The FAO/AAHRI Expert Workshop on Improving Biosecurity through Prudent and Responsible Use of Veterinary Medicines in Aquatic Food Production was convened in Bangkok, Thailand from 15 to 18 December 2009, in order to understand the current status of the use of antimicrobials in aquaculture and to discuss the concerns and impacts of their irresponsible use on human health, the aquatic environment and trade. Such discussions became the basis for drafting recommenda tions targeted to the state and private sectors and for developing guiding principles on the responsible use of antimicrobials in aquaculture that will be part of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Technical Guidelines on Prudent and Responsible Use of Veterinary Medicines in Aquaculture. Since aquaculture is expected to continue to increase its contribution to the world¿s production of aquatic food, offer opportunities to alleviate poverty, increase employment and community de velopment and reduce overexploitation of natural aquatic resources, appropriate guidance to aquaculture stakeholders on the responsible use of veterinary medicines has become essential. Safe and effective veterinary medicines need to be available for efficient aquaculture production, and their use should be in line with established principles on prudent use to safeguard public and animal health. The use of such medicines should be part of national and on-farm biosecurity plans and in accordance with an overall national policy for sustainable aquaculture. This publication is presented in two parts: Part 1 contains 15 technical background papers presented during the expert workshop, contributed by 28 specialists and which served as a basis for the expert workshop deliberations; Part 2 contains the highlights of the expert workshop.

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