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FAO/IAEA Symposium to address animal production and health

Vienna, 4 April 2009 | An international symposium to be held in Vienna next week will focus on the use of nuclear technologies to enhance animal nutrition and reproduction strategies and to detect and control animal-origin diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as swine and avian influenza.

Around 500 animal production and health experts from over 100 countries will present up-to-date findings for solving or alleviating factors affecting animal production. In addition, they will discuss modern techniques for curbing animal diseases that affect humans, also known as "zoonoses", which account for 70 percent of all human infectious diseases.

Media representatives may attend all sessions of the four-day FAO/IAEA Symposium on Sustainable Improvement of Animal Production and Health, organized by the Joint Division of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the UN and the IAEA. David Nabarro, UN System Coordinator on Avian and Human Influenza and the Global Food Security Crisis, will deliver a keynote address at the symposium's opening session at 9:00 a.m., on 8 June in the Vienna International Center's C Building.

Media representatives are also invited to a press conference featuring:

  • Werner Burkart, IAEA Deputy Director General and head of the agency's Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications;
  • Modibo Traore, FAO Assistant Director-General, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department; and
  • Gottfried Brem, Chair of Animal Breeding Genetics, Veterinary University Vienna, Austria, and Member of the European Research Council (ERC) in Brussels.

The press conference will be held at 10:00 a.m. on the opening day of the event, Monday, 8 June 2009, in the Press Conference Room of the M Building of the VIC.

More information and the programme of the Symposium is available at

Journalists wishing to cover the event can register online, e-mail Al Sinoy ( or call [43-1] 2600-21276.

Individual interviews can be arranged through IAEA Press Office.

Audio clips are available to download:

David Nabarro, the UN System Coordinator on Avian and Human Influenza and the Global Food Security Crisis describes the implications of animal diseases on human health.
Download Audio: David Nabarro

Gerrit Viljoen, the head, of the Animal Production and Health Section at the Joint FAO/IAEA Division discusses the symposium and the work of his section.
Download Audio: Gerrit Viljoen


Contact: IAEA Press Office
International Atomic Energy Agency

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