The Vietnam Veterinary Department and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a deal to launch the second phase of the Regional Cooperation Project for Animal Disease Control on November 20. The project, a cooperation programme between JICA and the governments of Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, aims to enhance surveillance and control capacity for animal diseases amongst the six Southeast Asian countries. The second phase of the project will be carried out between now and 2009, focusing on animal disease surveillance at local levels. During phase I lasting from December 2001 to December 2006, JICA provided equipment, chemicals and training courses on diagnosis for Vietnamese veterinarians. Hoang Van Nam, Vice Director of the Veterinary Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the project has brought in practical results as the diagnosis capacity of relevant veterinary agencies and workers were improved remarkably.