Assessment of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Control Policies and Their Implementation in the Proposed FMD-Free Zone in Thailand

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Virginia Tech


A proposed Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) free zone, in the eastern region of Thailand, was evaluated by FMD experts with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) during 2012-2013. The zone, however, did not qualify for an FMD-free zone with vaccination because it did not comply with the requirements in the OIE Terrestrial Code. Then, the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) within the government of Thailand revised laws and regulations related to the FMD control program in order to be in compliance with the OIE's requirements. The revised FMD control program has been implemented since 2015. These revisions and implementations, however, have not been evaluated.

The main objectives of this study were to determine whether the revised regulations (since 2015) currently being implemented are fully in compliance with the OIE's requirements, and to verify whether the implementation of the current FMD control program is sufficient to control FMD effectively.

First, this study developed an evaluation framework and assessment tools for use in the evaluation of the FMD control policies and their implementation in the eastern region of Thailand. The assessment tools include assessment matrices, three sets of questionnaires, and interview questions. When applied, the assessment matrices identify shortcomings of policy design, policy implementation, veterinary capacity, and stakeholder engagement. Questionnaires and interview questions collect information that examines the consistency of elements of the FMD control program against criteria in the assessment matrix.

Then, the design of current FMD control policies was assessed by interviews of DLD officers at national level who formulate policies related to FMD control program and by reviews of DLD existing written policies and documents. This study found that the design of current FMD control system is appropriate and meets the OIE's requirements.

Next, the implementation of the current FMD control program in the eastern region of Thailand was assessed. The assessment was conducted by (i) questionnaire surveys with DLD officers at local level, private veterinarians, and farmers, (ii) interviews with DLD officers at national and regional level and private veterinarians, and (iii) field observations. The assessment found that the current implementation of the FMD control program in the eastern region of Thailand needs further improvement in order to meet the OIE's requirements.

This study also proposes recommendations to the DLD in improving the FMD control system in the eastern region of Thailand including surveillance system, reporting system, vaccine strategy, animal movement control system, and response plans. For example, there should be an increase of stakeholders' awareness of disease reporting requirements. Evidence of adequate vaccination coverage and population immunity should be available and accessible. Allocation of staff at local level should be reconsidered for more appropriate service deliveries. Communications between DLD and stakeholders regarding the FMD control program need to be strengthened for more effective message delivery. Lastly, this study strongly recommends that there should be strong commitments and supported by the higher level of the Thai's government.



Foot and Mouth Disease, FMD-free zone, assessment, policy design, implementation, Thailand