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FAO sets up animal influenza ref center in N China

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-04 15:51

HARBIN - The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations on Monday designated an animal influenza lab in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province as the Reference Center for Animal Influenza of the FAO.

The Animal Influenza Laboratory (AIL), which belongs to the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute (HVRI) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, is located in the provincial capital Harbin.

The AIL is the first FAO-recognized reference center in China and the second in the world, after the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Friedrich-Loeffer-Institute of Germany.

The establishment of the reference center shows that the laboratory diagnosis and scientific research level of animal influenza in China has reached internationally-recognized, advanced levels.

The HVRI will share information and jointly carry out animal influenza supervision, prevention and control programs with the FAO, as well as provide data on the epidemiology and influenza virus evolution in Asia and offer consultation on vaccines and immunity, said Dr. Juan Luborth, chief veterinary officer (CVO) of the FAO.

"China and the FAO have cooperated a lot in fields of animal epidemic disease and laboratory biosecurity in recent years. The establishment of the center will push the cooperation into a new stage," said Yu Kangzheng, China's CVO.

China and the FAO will also strengthen cooperation on cross-border animal disease prevention and control, animal hygiene informatization and exchanges of veterinary experiences and information among various countries, Yu said.

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