The FAO will collaborate with the government of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan to launch a programme to cope with foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in cattle.
Officials in the provincial livestock and dairy development department said they were preparing PC-1 of the programme for which FAO would provide financial and technical assistance.
The programme aims to increase awareness of FMD among farmers so that precautionary measures could be taken to save their cattle from the disease.
Surveillance improvement regarding viral infection will be at the centre of the programme to control the spread of the highly infectious FMD.
Uneducated farmers do not give attention to FMD and vaccination, though two doses of vaccine cost only Rs 14, said officials. The programme would include workshops for farmers to inform them about FMD and its effects on their animals and the importance of vaccines.
Under the programme, plans would be drawn to hold vaccination camps throughout the province.
The initiative was launched in view of the massive cross-border movement of animals, especially transportations of cattle from India that reached the Frontier province and then Afghanistan.
The FMD causes heavy production losses in dairy animals and calves mortality is about 20 percent. The disease is controllable provided animals are vaccinated twice a year. Morbidity of the disease is 90 percent, and the disease is endemic in Pakistan.