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EU Commission to Set Up Rapid Action Team

The European Commission of the EU has come out with a plan to construct an expert team of professionals from various disciplines//, meant to deal with sudden and dangerous outbreaks of animal diseases.

The decision has come in the wake of various outbreaks, such as the recent bird flu outbreak, previous foot and mouth disease of cattle, blue tongue disease etc.

The commission will be setting up this rapid action squad. It will ask for expert members to be proposed from various member nations, along with their detailed profiles. The experts from the fields of veterinary, wildlife, laboratory testing, virology, risk management and other areas will be selected after necessary investigations.

The expert team is meant to be on-call duty any time an emergency occurs and to be ready to move within 24 to 36 hours to the affected areas.

The experts will be sent to member nations or other nations such as third world countries in the event of an outbreak. They are expected to provide expert advice, technology and guidance in dealing with the problems.

The team will also collaborate closely with experts from international organizations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Office of Epizootics (OIE).

According to EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou, recent and past outbreaks of bird flu, swine fever or foot-and-mouth disease in the 27-nation bloc 'highlighted the importance of having well-prepared, well-trained personnel available to provide their expertise in dealing with the problem.'

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