The livestock sector occupies a significant part of the global economies, particularly in the developing world. Thus, livestock provides energy, food, raw material and manure for crops. It is therefore not surprising that the livestock sector, especially t he dairy sector, has emerged as an important economic source for a vast majority of the rural population. In the last few decades, an enormous progress was achieved towards trade liberalisation around the world. However, for the developing countries this l iberalisation faced a number of restrictions in the agricultural sector particularly those concerning dairy products, such as extensive tariffs and quotas related to dairy trade. In addition, health risks arising from additives, contaminants, toxins and pa thogens contained in food products constitute another trade restriction. Infectious diseases cause losses in livestock and their products with socio-economic consequences. The anticipated project will address the following disease clusters: 1) High epizoot ic viral diseases such as Rinderpest/PPR. 2) EnzootJc/climate related diseases with a highly significant impact on animal production and farmer incomes such as ticks and tick borne diseases. The project will focus particularly on those diseases having a se vere transboundary character which have been characterized by the FAO as having "a significant economic, trade and/or food security importance for a considerable number of countries, which can easily spread to other countries and reach epidemic dimension. Strategic objectives: 1) To establish a platform to evaluate actual and develop improved integrated control measures for livestock disease in Asia 2) To improve transparency in disease reporting at national, regional and international levels 3) To distribu te and harmonize diagnostic tools required for pathogen detection and differentiation 4) To build the capacity to ensure the conduction of integrated disease control.
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