Learning about transboundary animal diseases
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Transboundary animal diseases that impact trade in animals and animal products worldwide were the focus of a course organised by the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) at City University of Hong Kong (CityU) in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The occasion marked the first time that the International Transboundary Animal Disease (ITAD) course was held in Hong Kong and the surrounding region.
Over 30 veterinarians from 14 Asian countries participated in the event, which was held from 26 to 30 September 2016.
Two former Chief Veterinary Officers of the United States, Dr Alfonso Torres and Dr Peter Fernandez, discussed various kinds of ITAD diseases through lectures, discussions, and hands-on sessions, with a strong emphasis on the impact on global economies and food security and safety.
SVM undertook the mammoth task of organising the course, including the facilitation of three half-day sessions on the post mortem examination of pigs, chickens and horses. USDA speakers were ably assisted in these sessions by Dr Neel Aziz, CityU Visiting Fellow and specialist anatomic pathologist. Hong Kong experts, including Professor Malik Peiris of the University of Hong Kong, Dr Chris Riggs and Dr Peter Curl from the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and Mr Lee Ming-wai from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, gave guest lectures.
Feedback from participating veterinarians including those from Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia and Pakistan was excellent. They said they gained a greater understanding of ITAD across countries and reported feeling more confident in their ability to prevent and control infectious animal diseases.