The 81st General Session of the World Assembly of Delegates of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) met in Paris, France, last week.
At the session, consensus was reached by delegates on two new animal welfare chapters – relating to broiler chickens and rinderpest . The former was the culmination of a long-term undertaking, said Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE director-general.
“It goes to show that our organisation’s international standards-setting process, based on scientific excellence and democratically adopted standards – one country, one vote – achieves results of worldwide importance,” he said.
The new chapter for rinderpest confirms its global eradication in animals and enacts measures to be taken in the event of any accidental or deliberate release from laboratories still holding the virus.
Another update was agreed and made to the OIE Code on responsible and prudent use of anti-microbial agents in veterinary medicine in the 178 OIE member countries. This continues OIE work in that field
Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and classical swine flue fever (CSF) were added to the list of diseases for which Member Countries can apply for official recognition of their disease-free status..
Bulgaria and Costa Rica were recognised as having controlled risk status with regards to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), while Israel, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Slovenia and the US were recognised as having ‘negligible BSE risk’.
New zones were officially recognised as officially foot and mouth disease (FMD)-disease free in Argentina, Bolivia and peru and the OIE endorsed the national control programme for FMD submitted by Bolivia.
Five new Collaborating Centres and six Reference Laboratories were accredited, bringing the number of official centres of scientific excellence to 284.
The General Session welcomed OIE Goodwill Ambassador Her Royal Highness Princess Haya and a number of Ministers of OIE Member Countries at the Opening Ceremony. Over 800 participated in the session including representatives of Member Countries, international, intergovernmental, regional and national organisations (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, World Health Organisation, World Bank, World Trade Organisation and European Commission among others).