China plans to penalize people who conceal, delay or lie about
the outbreak of an animal-related disease.
The move is aimed at ensuring timely intervention and to
strengthen cooperation with international organizations to fight an
The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC),
the country's top legislature, yesterday began deliberating a draft
amendment to the law on preventing animal-related epidemics aimed
as lessening its social and economic impact.
The draft demands a prompt and transparent reporting system,
saying that all government agencies, businesses and individuals
must report to veterinary departments immediately after knowing
about an outbreak of an animal-related disease.
Officials and government employees who fail to take prompt
preventative steps, delay reporting or try to cover up such
outbreaks will be penalized, according to the draft, which was
tabled at the 27th session of the 10th NPC Standing Committee.
To ensure transparency and check panic from spreading, the draft
asks the veterinary authorities to promptly inform government
departments and the army of any severe outbreak of an
animal-related disease. That will help the government to take
immediate steps to check its spread.
Information on serious outbreaks should be sent in time to
international organizations and trade partners such the UN's Food
and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and the
World Organization for Animal Health, the draft says.
Also, governments above the county level should set up a
surveillance network to monitor animal diseases, and veterinary
departments at the central and provincial levels should issue early
warnings against possible outbreaks based on thorough
(China Daily April 25, 2007)