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A project funded by the Austrian Development Cooperation aims to improve the economic viability in cross-border areas of Armenia and Georgia through awareness building campaigns on the prevention and control of trans-boundary animal diseases, the improvement of herd management strategies, and the development of private veterinary services. "Animal Health Management" is a project implemented by the Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development (CARD) in partnership with Heifer Georgia International.
Within the scope of the project three veterinarians from Armenia and two from Georgia participated in the "Train the Vet-Trainer" program in Austria. It was organized by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES) with support from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health. Trainings were held in the Institute for Veterinary Disease Control, Mödling, which acts as National Reference Laboratory for a wide range of animal diseases, focusing primarily on diseases that endanger the health of livestock or humans. The Institute is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and runs Austria's only high-security veterinary laboratory.
Presentations were made on several topics, including trans-boundary infectious diseases; veterinary information systems; the Animal Health Service; sheep and goat farming in Austria; electron microscopy; and private veterinary practices. Participants were introduced to culturing pathogens in a special environment in the laboratory, observed the active movements of the bacteria with the help of the microscope. Moreover, the vets were introduced to serological tests to detect the infectious agent in order to diagnose the disease, and they learned about laboratory diagnosis of the important trans-boundary animal diseases, prevention, control and eradication plans for these diseases, veterinary information systems, and the Animal Health Service in Austria.
In addition, veterinarians visited a private vet clinic in Vienna and were introduced to the business structure of a private veterinary practice, the daily work organization, and record keeping. The vets saw the laboratory where microbiological and other tests are done for diagnosis, the pharmacy where all medicines and vaccines are kept, the veterinarians' offices, and the veterinary records.