Animal diseases on rise globally’

November 2007: The recent arrival of the bluetongue virus in the UK indicates that animal diseases are advancing globally and countries will have to invest more in surveillance and control measures, says the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

“No country can claim to be a safe haven with respect to animal diseases,” said FAO Chief Veterinary Officer Joseph Domenech. “Transboundary animal diseases that were originally confined to tropical countries are on the rise around the globe. They do not spare temperate zones including Europe, the United States and Australia,” he added. Globalization, the movement of people and goods, tourism, urbanization and probably also climate change are favouring the spread of animal viruses around the planet.