The Delegates of the 174 OIE Member Countries and Territories celebrated the 85th anniversary of the creation of the OIE by reaffirming their confidence in the Organisation, and they unanimously adopted a Resolution confirming their legal obligations regarding transparency in their notifications of animal diseases, including zoonoses, to the OIE.
“This unanimous confirmation by the Delegates of the OIE’s 174 Members strengthens the effectiveness of our Organisation’s actions on behalf of animal disease prevention and surveillance and its support for the sanitary safety of international trade in animals and food of animal origin”, emphasised the Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat.
Discussions also dealt with the growing problem of standards relating to risk analysis in animals and animal products used unilaterally by private firms without the direct involvement of governments, which can lead to new obligations that can be not science based and contradictory to existing OIE standards and that developing countries have difficulty in adapting to.
Climate change, emerging and re-emerging diseases
The impact of climate change on the emergence and re-emergence of animal diseases has been confirmed by a majority of OIE Member Countries and Territories in a worldwide study conducted by the OIE among all its national Delegates. The study presented during the session dedicated to the Technical Item showed the need for a new approach to prevent new threats linked to climate change and the globalisation of trade.
OIE Members have consequently given the Organisation a mandate to address this issue by using its scientific capabilities and networks, and to create specific groups of scientists in order to address these concerns as well as any question linked with livestock and environment.
The OIE pursued its universal actions on animal welfare by supporting the recommendations issued by the World Conference held in Cairo, Egypt, in October 2008, especially as regards the implementation of OIE standards by developing countries, and by voting to adopt new international standards to improve rabies control through better management of stray dog populations.
Official recognition of OIE Members’ animal disease status
The Delegates of Member Countries and Territories approved the new list of countries zones that had applied for official OIE recognition of their status with respect to one or more of four priority diseases: bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), foot and mouth disease, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and rinderpest.
With regard to BSE, the OIE recognised Japan, Colombia and Chile as having a “controlled BSE risk” status or “negligible risk” status.
Moldavia and Colombia were newly recognised as being foot and mouth disease free, with or without vaccination, for all or a part of their territory.
The Organisation reiterated the aim that it shares with FAO, namely to be able to declare in the near future that rinderpest has been eradicated worldwide.