07MOSCOW1696, U.S.-RUSSIA WILDLIFE DISEASE CONFERENCE – BIRD FLU

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW1696 2007-04-13 13:14 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO4153
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
DE RUEHMO #1696/01 1031314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131314Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9244
INFO RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC 4734
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHDC
RUEHYG/AMCONSUL YEKATERINBURG 2367
RUEHVK/AMCONSUL VLADIVOSTOK 2049
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHEFAFM/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD//MA-1//
RHMFIUU/DTRA ALEX WASHINGTON DC//CT//
RHEFSNG/HMSNG WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 MOSCOW 001696 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/RUS, OES/ETC, OES/STC, EB/TPP/ATP, EB/TPP/BTA 
INTERIOR PASS TO FWS (KOHL) and USGS/NWHC 
USDA FOR OSEC/DAN CAINE, FAS FOR OSTA/MACKE, 
-  WRIGHT, ROSENBLUM; OCRA/THOMAS, 
-  FLEMINGS; OA/PATRICK CLERKIN 
HHS FOR SAWYER, STEIGER 
FAS PASS FSIS AND APHIS 
SECDEF FOR OSD 
VIENNA PASS APHIS/TANAKA, BRUSSELS PASS 
- APHIS/FERNANDEZ 
USDOC 3150/DAVID FULTON/MOLLY COSTA/ITA/CS/OIO/EUR 
GENEVA PASS HEALTH ATTACHE 
DEPARTMENT PASS USAID FOR GH/RCS/EE/ROSENBERG 
CDC ATLANTA PASS SEPRL FOR DAVID SUAREZ 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SENV EAGR TBIO KFLU RS
SUBJECT: U.S.-RUSSIA WILDLIFE DISEASE CONFERENCE - BIRD FLU 
AND MORE 
 
REF:  MOSCOW 900 
 
MOSCOW 00001696  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
1.  SUMMARY:  A full-day session on avian influenza drew a 
large and lively audience during the recent 2nd U.S.-Russia 
Conference on Wildlife Diseases, held in Moscow.  The 
conference featured a 17-member USG delegation, whose 
presenters underscored the vital interactions between human 
health, wildlife health and commercial poultry and 
livestock. Russian participants welcomed the enhanced 
opportunity for bilateral connections, noting that Russian 
experts too often work in isolation.  END SUMMARY 
 
ONE WORLD, ONE HEALTH, ONE ENVIRONMENT 
-------------------------------------- 
 
2.  For many years the United States and Russia have 
exchanged information and data on the emergence, diagnosis, 
spread, treatment and pathology of wildlife diseases.  The 
2nd U.S.-Russia Conference on Wildlife Diseases, held at 
the main Botanical Garden in Moscow, March 12-15, attracted 
more than 100 Russian participants, primarily scientists 
and wildlife experts, but also some government officials, 
students, and representatives from environmental NGOs. 
Sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 
conjunction with the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources 
(Rosprirodnadzor) Scientific Research Institute of Nature 
Protection's Wild Animal Health Center, the conference 
agenda covered avian diseases including Avian Influenza and 
West Nile virus as well as diseases of terrestrial mammals 
and reptiles, amphibians, aquatic and marine ecosystems. 
 
3.  The 17-member U.S. delegation included experts from the 
U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center, 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Parks 
Service and the Marine Mammal Center.  In opening remarks, 
Susan Haseltine, USGS Associate Director for Biology, 
explained that since the first U.S.-Russia conference in 
November 1999, the U.S. focus has shifted from the study of 
an individual disease in individual species to considering 
wildlife health in the full ecological setting.  Over the 
four-day conference, U.S. presenters frequently emphasized 
the theme "One World, One Health, One Environment," 
pointing out the vital interactions between wildlife 
health, human health, and commercial poultry and livestock. 
 
SPOTLIGHT ON AVIAN INFLUENZA 
---------------------------- 
 
4.  Russian authorities recently (February 18-22) dealt 
with an outbreak of highly pathogenic A/H5N1 avian 
influenza (REFTEL and previous), so the full day session on 
AI drew a large crowd and sparked heated discussion. 
Contending that it made their country look "uncivilized," 
several Russian members of the audience passionately 
criticized last year's killing of wild birds in some 
regions of Russia and called for a political statement by 
conference attendees (the organizers demurred, saying that 
was not within their purview).  Surprisingly, no one from 
the Russian agriculture ministry attended this portion of 
the conference, but after additional urging from the 
Russian coordinator, on the final day Sergey Yakolev, a 
poultry specialist with the Russian Veterinary Service, 
 
MOSCOW 00001696  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
delivered a brief report on the government's successful 
actions in controlling the outbreak in February. 
 
5.  At a RIA Novisti press conference that attracted 16 
journalists from 13 outlets (radio, print, internet), a 
joint U.S.-Russian group composed of Susan Haseltine and 
Leslie Dierauf (Director, USGS National Wildlife Health 
Center), Steven Kohl (Coordinator of bilateral FWS 
activities with Russia), Evgeniy Kuznetsov from the Wild 
Animal Health Center and Aleksandr Botvinkin of the State 
Medical Academy in Irkutsk, talked about the connections 
between wildlife diseases, public health and ecology. 
Noting that avian influenza was in the headlines, they 
explained that there were many other wildlife diseases of 
concern and environmental pressures on animal populations. 
Highlighting the conference goals, they stressed the value 
of bilateral cooperation
and the importance of disease 
specialists sharing data, methods and personal field 
experience. 
 
CONFERENCE RESULTS:  CONNECTIONS 
-------------------------------- 
 
6.  The organizers actively sought participation from 
universities with agriculture, biology and veterinary 
programs, but were disappointed that relatively few 
students attended.  Those who did show expressed 
frustration with university authorities for not recognizing 
the importance of students attending international 
meetings.  In the conference wrap-up, one young woman said 
bitterly, "Don't depend on them (i.e., university 
administrators).  They tell us nothing.  Next time put up 
posters and more of us will be here!" 
 
7.  According to Evgeniy Kuznetsov, the two most important 
outcomes of the conference were increased U.S.-Russian 
interaction and forging connections among Russian experts 
themselves, who often work in isolation.  In his role as 
President of the Wildlife Disease Association, Scott Wright 
from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center offered to 
help Russia form a Russian section and internet subgroup 
with the Association.  For many Russian attendees, 
receiving a copy of a Russian translation of 250 pages of 
the 2006 manual, "Disease Emergence and Resurgence: the 
Wildlife-Human Connection," was a valuable bonus. 
Participants enthusiastically endorsed holding another 
conference within the next two or three years, but the U.S. 
side noted the need for Russian financial support the next 
time around. 
 
TAKE IT ON THE ROAD NEXT TIME? 
------------------------------ 
 
8.  COMMENT:  The information and data exchanged at the 
conference were characterized as crucial by virtually 
everyone who attended.  However, several of the Russian 
participants pointed out the relative lack of 
representation from areas of the country other than the 
Moscow region.  More than one person suggested to Kohl that 
the next conference be held in Siberia or the Far East to 
facilitate attendance by many people struggling with 
wildlife disease outbreaks on the ground and make it 
 
MOSCOW 00001696  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
possible to include field demonstrations of disease 
prevention and treatment techniques. END COMMENT 
 
9.  Conference papers and presentations will be posted on 
the USGS website at www.nwhc.usgs.gov. 
 
10.  Additional information on U.S.-Russia wildlife 
cooperation is available on the FWS site at www.fws.gov. 
 
BURNS

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