The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation said on Wednesday that foot and mouth disease is a global threat and urged countries to adopt stringent measures against the spread of the disease to other countries.

Yves Cheneau, chief of FAO’s animal health service, warned that any country in the world could be contaminated with the disease as increased international trade, intensified farming, immigration, tourism, the movement of animals, animal products and foodstuffs might have a hand in spreading the disease across national borders.

Cheneau urged countries to adopt stronger controls on travellers and imported food, while indicating that more aid should be made available for developing countries to tackle the disease in the endemic areas such as Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America.