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68th annual General Session of the International Committee of the Office International des Epizooties (Russian version available)

  • ITS 155 MEMBER COUNTRIES INVITED TO PARIS
    FOR THEIR ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY
  • LATEST INFORMATION ON ANIMAL HEALTH
  • WORLD EXPERTS ELECTED
    TO SPECIALIST COMMISSIONS
  • World trends in the different animal diseases and the distribution of outbreaks in 1999 and early 2000
  • Prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases
  • Diagnosis and prophylaxis of tuberculosis in domestic and wild animals
  • Animal identification and traceability of animal products
  • Election of a new Director General of the Office International des Epizooties
  • Election of a new President and Vice-President, as well as of Members of the Administrative Commission, Specialised Commissions and Regional Commissions of the OIE

The 68th annual General Session of the International Committee of the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) was held in Paris from 22 to 26 May 2000.

A summary of world trends in the different diseases and epizootics was drawn up, focusing on 'List A' diseases, those most damaging to animal, and sometimes human health, as well as to the world economy and to international trade.

The 133 Heads of Veterinary Services of OIE Member Countries and 6 observers from non-OIE Member Countries and territories attending the Session, as well as the representatives of 13. inter-governmental organisations, including the FAO and WHO, subsequently considered possible measures to control aquatic animal diseases and tuberculosis in domestic and wild animals, as well as the most appropriate animal identification methods and traceability of animal products in international trade.

The International Committee also held an election for a new Director General of the OIE for the period 2001-2005, as well as for a new President and Vice-President, and Members of the Administrative Commission, the four Specialised Commissions and the five Regional Commissions of the OIE for the period May 2000-May 2003.

World trends in and distribution of different animal diseases

The most important epidemiological trends world-wide are presented in the document included as an appendix to this press release. The outbreaks are based on information transmitted by OIE Member Countries and non-member countries up to 14 April 2000. Outbreaks after this date, in particular the recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease reported in South Korea, Japan and Russia, are thus not included in the appendix. This information is available on the OIE Web site (www.oie.int).

This site also gives the list of countries declared free from foot and mouth disease and/or rinderpest, as well as the regularly updated list of cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) reported world-wide.

Prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases

In order to prevent or reduce the risk of introduction of serious aquatic animal diseases and thus avoid economic losses in the aquaculture industry and in wild stocks, it is important to have a set of principles for the prevention and control of such diseases. These principles include the establishment of a legislative framework, both nationally and internationally.

The key international documents are the OIE International Aquatic Animal Health Code and Diagnostic Manual for Aquatic Animal Diseases, as well as other documents, such as EC Directive 91/67/EEC that applies health regulations to all European Union countries. Guidelines for management of diseases in Asia are currently being established by FAO/NACA, partly based on the OIE standards.

In addition to a legislatory framework, the most important factors involved in improved surveillance and prophylaxis of aquatic animal diseases include: listing of diseases in order of importance, procedures for inspection and control, import regulations, quarantine measures, procedures for the introduction of new species, transport regulations and restriction on movements, disinfection procedures, contingency plans, personnel training, and disease prevention at the aquaculture establishment level with regard to water treatment, vaccination, medical treatment, as well as hygienic and sanitary measures.

 

Diagnosis and prophylaxis of tuberculosis in domestic and wild animals

More sensitive and specific advances in the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) in domestic and wild animals have recently taken place. These are in the form of whole blood and serological tests, combined with more rapid means of identifying the causal agent (Mycobacterium bovis) through liquid culture or polymerase chain reaction testing.

These methods will improve the effectiveness of TB diagnosis in animals. Furthermore, a range of epidemiological analyses and DNA fingerprinting techniques, provide improved methods to target control efforts.

Low-dose BCG (bacille Calmette-Guérin) vaccine provides protection for both cattle and farmed deer from challenge with M. bovis, and a test appears to be able to discriminate between vaccinated and infected animals. The outcome of future vaccine research will provide control options for countries that currently lack a compulsory TB control programme or that have wild animal reservoirs of infection. Controlling TB in these countries is often dependent on maintaining the wild animal TB reservoir population at low density for extended periods. Cost or environmental concerns may preclude this option in some countries. Vaccination of the wild animal reservoir population is another future option for control.

Animal identification and traceability of animal products

Traceability and the principal tool for achieving it - individual identification - are very important for public and animal health, as well as for implementing quality assurance systems.

Individual identification, such as labelling, has been in use since technology was first introduced into animal and food production. Answers were generally available to such questions as: Which is the animal being considered? Where does it come from? Who is its owner?

Different animal identification systems (ringing, branding, tattooing, microchip, DNA, etc.) are used in most countries. Their application or follow-up vary considerably from one region or one animal species to another.

Traceability (labelling) of animal products itself depends on the success of identification of animals from which they are derived. This can only be assured by rigorous regulations established in collaboration with all the players concerned, from the primary producer to the consumer.

Election of a new Director General of the OIE

On 24 May 2000, Dr Bernard Vallat (France) was designated as the new Director General of the Office International des Epizooties for a period of five years. He will take up his post on 1 January 2001.

Election of a new President and Vice-President, as well as of Members of the Administrative Commission, Specialised Commissions and Regional Commissions of the OIE

The following persons were elected by the OIE International Committee on 26 May 2000:

President: Dr Romano Marabelli (Italy)

Vice-President: Dr Abdoulaye Bouna Niang (Senegal)

Members of the Administrative Commission:

Dr Nikola T. Belev (Bulgaria)

Dr Carlos A. Correa Messuti (Uruguay)

Dr Barry O’Neil (New Zealand)

Dr Pavlos Economidès (Cyprus)

Auditors:

Dr Abdelhaq Tber (Morocco)

Dr Watson H.T. Sung (Taipei China)

Members of the International Animal Health Code Commission:

President: Dr Alejandro B. Thiermann (United States of America)

Vice-President: Dr Wolf-Arno Valder (Germany)

Secretary General: Dr David Wilson (Australia)

Members: Dr Alexander N. Panin (Russia)

Dr R. Benaissa (Algeria)

Dr Stuart K. Hargreaves (Zimbabwe)

Members of the Foot and Mouth Disease and other Epizootics Commission:

President: Dr Gavin Thompson (South Africa)

Vice-President: Dr Vincenzo Caporale (Italy)

Secretary General: Dr Eduardo Correa Melo (Chile)

Members of the Standards Commission:

President: Dr Marian Truszczynski (Poland)

Vice-President: Dr Steve Edwards (United Kingdom)

Secretary General: Dr Beverly Schmitt (United States of America)

Members of the Fish Diseases Commission:

President: Professor Tore Hästein (Norway)

Vice-President: Dr Christian Michel (France)

Secretary General: Professor Barry J. Hill (United Kingdom)

Members: Dr Eva-Maria Bernoth (Australia)

Professor Donald V. Lightner (United States of America)

Members of the Regional Commission for Africa:

President: Dr Rachid Bouguedour (Algeria)

Vice-President: Dr Hamadou Saïdou (Cameroon)

Vice-President: Dr Robert S. Thwala (Swaziland)

Secretary General: Dr Philip Moses Ociba (Uganda)

Members of the Regional Commission for the Americas:

President: Dr Angel Omar Flores Hernández (Mexico)

Vice-President: Dr Hamilton Ricardo Farias (Brazil)

Vice-President: Dr Luz Alba Cruz de Urbina (Colombia)

Secretary General: Dr Alfonso Torres (United States of America)

Members of the Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania:

President: Dr J. Gardner Murray (Australia)

Vice-President: Dr Kenichi Matsubara (Japan)

Vice-President: Dr Mohd Nordin Mohd Nor (Malaysia)

Secretary General: Dr Didier Carton (New Caledonia)

Members of the Regional Commission for Europe:

President: Dr Nikola T. Belev (Bulgaria)

Vice-President: Dr Frederik H. Pluimers (The Netherlands)

Vice-President: Dr Jaana Husu-Kallio (Finland)

Secretary General: Dr Kazimieras Lukauskas (Lithuania)

Members of the Regional Commission for the Middle East:

President: Dr Sultan A. Sultan Al Khalaf (Kuwait)

Vice-President: Dr Adel Ziadeh (Syria)

Vice-President: Dr Hassan Abdel Aziz Aidaros (Egypt)

Secretary General: Dr Pavlos Economides (Cyprus)

APPENDIX 1

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