China Sets Its Lawyers On Animal Disease

BEIJING - As the world's largest producer of poultry, livestock and aquatic products, China has a great deal to lose from outbreaks of disease. It is estimated that animal diseases cost China 40 billion yuan annually. Now, China's top legislature is deliberating a draft amendment to the law on animal health aimed at preventing future disease epidemics.
calendar icon 24 April 2007
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By 2008 it is hoped that local governments above the county level will have a surveillance network to monitor animal diseases, says a draft amendment, tabled at the 27th session of the Standing Committee of the 10th National People's Congress (NPC).

he draft says that veterinary departments at the central and provincial levels will be obliged to issue early warnings against possible outbreaks based on thorough epidemiological study.

It also demands a prompt and transparent reporting system, and says that all government agencies, businesses and individuals must report immediately any outbreaks of animal diseases to veterinary departments.

Officials and government employees, who fail to take prompt preventative measures, delay reporting or try to cover up outbreaks of animal diseases should face administrative discipline, according to the draft.

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