Globalisation and global trade in livestock products creates new challenges for governments and international organisations (OIE, WHO, FAO, WTO) in predicting, preventing and controlling transboundary diseases, which can be defined as epidemic diseases which are highly contagious or transmissible and have the potential for very rapid spread, irrespective of national borders, causing serious socio-economic and public health consequences. These diseases may also constitute a constant threat to the livelihood of livestock farmers and also have a significant detrimental effect on national economics.
Hong Kong has been at the epicentre of several transboundary animal diseases (TADs), notably avian influenza and SARS and has suffered economically as well as on a social level. It is imperative that veterinarians are taught to be aware of transboundary diseases and how to handle and control them if they should be detected in a controlled fashion. This course aims to enhance technical, legal, entrepreneurial, leadership and organisational skills of veterinarians involved in animal disease control, with strong emphasis on epidemiology, statistics, exotic and epizootic disease, the role of government veterinary services and health information systems.