The Japan International Cooperation Agreement (JICA) has reached a cooperation agreement with six ASEAN countries on the establishment of animal disease control information network by the end of this year, according to Myanmar ’s local weekly Yangon Times on August 10.

The ASEAN countries participating in the agreement included Vietnam , Laos , Cambodia , Malaysia , Thailand and Myanmar , which gave the nod to the deal at the fourth Regional Joint Committee Meeting on the Regional Cooperation Project for Animal Disease Control held in Yangon , Myanmar .

The Myanmar weekly said JICA has been carrying out a three-year animal disease control project with those six ASEAN countries since February 2008 and will apply measures to control abortion disease and tuberculosis on dairy cows as part of the project from next month.

The Japanese agency has also extended a project to control animal diseases, including bird flu, in Pyin OO Lwin and Amarapura towns in Myanmar ’s northern region from now through 2011. This project also covers setting up laboratories, exchanging information and organising refresher courses on the field in the areas.

Last year, JICA has provided Myanmar with 102 million JPY (roughly 830,000 USD) to help the country combat five animal diseases within the framework of the 2008-2010 project.

With Japanese assistance, Myanmar has increased the monitoring of trans-border quarantine of animal diseases and cooperated with Thailand and China to position quarantine offices at border trade areas for exchanging information rapidly and testing the safety of live animals and their byproducts bound for trans-border import and export./.