China and EU discuss brucellosis challenge

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Brucellosis is a growing problem for China's pastoral farmers
Brucellosis is a growing problem for China's pastoral farmers

Related tags European union European commission People's republic of china Livestock

European and Chinese health officials gathered in Shandong last week to discuss how China can tackle the spread of brucellosis in livestock.

The EU-China Seminar on Brucellosis Surveillance and Control was held in Qingdao on 19 June and was jointly hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture’s (MOA) Bureau of Veterinary Service and the EU-China Trade Project (EUCTP) Office. It was organised by the China Animal Health and Epidemiology Center (CAHEC).

Brucellosis is a major problem for livestock and human health in northern China and the seminar focused on how Chinese authorities should be tackling the disease.

The seminar was attended by experts from the MOA, the EUCTP Office, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China (NHFPC) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)’s EU Reference Laboratory for Brucellosis.

Dr Bruno Garin-Bastuji, head of the EU/OIE Reference Laboratory, shared the EU’s experiences in controlling Brucellosis with delegates at the seminar.  

He said that in order to eradicate the disease, China would need implement a step-by-step control plan funded by government, which should include vaccination, surveillance, culling and movement control. He added that the creation of a network of brucellosis laboratories would help efforts to prevent and control the disease.

Dr Garin-Bastuji insisted there would need to be constant government funding, close collaboration between government departments, and support from the private sector if efforts to stamp out brucellosis were to be successful.

China and the EU have been co-operating on brucellosis since 2012, when the MOA and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG SANCO) launched a joint control project focusing on diagnosis and molecular testing for pathogens.

Brucellosis causes high incidences of abortions in livestock herds and can be passed to humans through the consumption of infected meat or milk, leading to fever, headaches and muscular pain. It has been virtually eradicated in Europe, but is on the rise in China, particularly among pastoral communities in the north of the country.

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