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Harbin Flu Lab Designated as FAO Reference Centre

06 March 2013

CHINA - China's Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have jointly held a Plaque-unveiling Ceremony for the FAO Reference Center for Animal Influenza in Harbin.

China's Chief Veterinary Officer (CVO) Yu Kangzheng and his FAO counterpart, Juan Lubroth, attended and addressed the Ceremony.

This signifies China's leading role in laboratory diagnosis and research in animal influenza.

The Animal Influenza Lab of Harbin Veterinary Research Institute (HVRI) is the first FAO-recognised reference centre of animal diseases in China and the second in the world, right after the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health of Germany.

A FAO reference center is authorized by FAO Director-General upon competitive selection and evaluation. It takes responsibilities in providing technical support and training in prevention and control of trans-boundary animal diseases and zoonoses, ensuring food security and food safety as well as improving public health.

In recent years, China and FAO have cooperated closely in many fields, especially in animal disease control and lab biosecurity. The FAO-recognised reference center will push forward such cooperation into a new stage, according to Yu.

FAO set up Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) China in 2006, and initiated a joint HPAI project.

China and FAO conducted the Field Epidemiology Training Program for Veterinarians (China FETPV) to further promote the concept of 'One World One Health'. Under the FAO framework, China also strengthened its cooperation on animal disease control with neighboring countries, including Viet Nam, Mongolia and Russia.

The HVRI's Animal Influenza Lab is China's National Avian Influenza (AI) Reference Lab, and also a Reference Lab for AI recognised by World Organization of Animal Health (OIE).

ThePigSite News Desk

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