Future Farmers Network member and live export industry guru Kari Moffat travelled to Nepal in November to participate in the EuFMD Foot and Mouth Disease Real Time Training program, thanks to the Australian Live Exporters Council and the Australian Government. Read about it here! 

 

The European Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease (EuFMD) FMD training program in Nepal was an eye-opening experience into not only the devastation this disease can cause, but a cultural adventure I will never forget. This program highlights the harsh reality of what an FMD outbreak in Australia would mean to our agricultural industry, with participants coming away from the course equipped with practical and theoretical knowledge.
The course was held over 5 days in Kathmandu, Nepal with the program beginning in the classroom. Participates received intensive training, covering pathogenesis, clinical diagnosis, lesion ageing, laboratory diagnosis, epidemiology and outbreak investigation, biosecurity practices, vaccination and what FMD entering Australia would mean to our industry.
Equipped with this theoretical knowledge, we were ready to hit to road and gain a practical understanding of FMD. The course included two field visits conducted to simulate the investigation of a real-time outbreak. In small groups we collected information from smallholder farmers in the area, who had previously encountered FMD. This included epidemiological information, samples and discussing clinical signs, as there were no current outbreaks of FMD in the area which limited our ability to sample live cases. These fields visits were the highlight of the program, giving participates an opportunity to speak with local farmers, and see more of the stunning countryside.
Participants of the course had travelled from all over the world, such as Australia, Germany, Italy, the UK and local Nepalese. The diversity of nationalities, careers and backgrounds made for exciting discussions and networking opportunities.
I would like to thank Future Farmers Network and the Australian Livestock Exporters Council for sponsoring me to attend of such an incredible program. Through this learning, I plan to share my knowledge through my role to the wider livestock community. I would highly recommend this program to anyone working in the livestock industry, who has in interest in animal health and disease prevention.