Acta Vet. Brno 2006, 75: 305-313

Foot and Mouth Disease Eradication in Former Czechoslovakia

V. Kouba

Formerly: Chief Epizootiologist and Vice-Director, State Veterinary Service, Prague and Professor of Epizootiology, University of Veterinary Sciences, Brno

Received December 5, 2005
Accepted March 16, 2006

In former Czechoslovakia after the Second World War foot and mouth disease (FMD) was widely spread causing enormous losses to animal production. First reliable data were from 1952 when the FMD was reported in 5,912 villages with 316,997 diseased and 23,112 dead animals. Following a very demanding anti-FMD programme, panzootic occurrence was gradually reduced to sporadic cases and finally to the eradication in 1975. During 1952-1975 there were reported 8,898 new FMD outbreaks (villages). Anti-FMD protection measures, eradication strategy and methods are described. The eradication was achieved mainly thanks to strict measures for avoiding FMD introduction from abroad, animal population health protection including FMD vaccination of threatened populations (annual ratios vaccinations/cattle population oscillated between 0.0293 in 1955 and 1.8168 in 1973 with an average of 0.6445) and timely FMD discovery followed by a rapid response applying very strict intrafocal, perifocal and territorial measures. There were used different complex methods, including stamping-out, adjusted flexibly in time and place to epizootiological situation and influencing factors such as livestock concentration in large units. Important role was played by the strong and centralized public veterinary service with adequate infrastructure, necessary facilities such as FMD diagnostic laboratory, vaccine production and rendering plants, material and financial support. During 1957-1960, a particular epizootiological research was conducted in 70 districts, 245 villages and 459 farms affected by FMD; the results were expressed in morbidity, mortality, sanitary slaughter, disease course, outbreak duration, promptness of disease detection and response, virus types and ways of transmission.