Justification for ASEAN Network on Aquatic Animal Health Centres (ANAAHC)
ASEAN countries are at different stages in the development of National aquatic animal health strategies, that contain the action plans of governments and which form the basis for the national level implementation of the sanitary and phytosanitary measures necessary for responsible trade as included in the Technical Guidelines. Many countries in ASEAN face significant challenges in the practical implementation of aquatic animal health management strategies, particularly in the areas of surveillance, reporting, zoning, contingency planning and risk analysis. One of the main reasons is the inadequate national capacity and capability in aquatic animal disease diagnosis. Bridging development gaps and capacity and capability building across ASEAN member countries is therefore necessary.
To further progress the implementation of Technical Guidelines in ASEAN, there is a need to establish an ASEAN Network on Aquatic Animal Health Centres (ANAAHC) with a specific network programme to support ASEAN countries. The ANAAHC would provide national agencies with assistance in the diagnosis of key diseases on the regional (QAAD) and international (OIE) list, to provide more generalized support, to assist in emergency responses to new disease outbreaks of unknown aetiology and to act as a contact centre for advice and capacity building in close cooperation with other international agencies as FAO, NACA and OIE.
The development of the ASEAN Network on Aquatic Animal Health Centres would assist ASEAN members to build capacity to implement improved biosecurity measures and guidelines developed during these projects.
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