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A stronger future for globally diversified livestock production

Outcomes of high-level panel facilitated by the OIE on shaping the future of livestock thanks to improved animal health and welfare

Paris, 20 January 2018—Experts in animal health and welfare management met for a high-level panel hosted by the OIE at the occasion of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2018, held in Berlin from 18-20 January, and organized by The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). Within the framework of livestock production, this multi-stakeholder group composed of international, regional and national policy makers and government representatives tackled issues linked to policy-making, climate stewardship and societal needs. The panel acknowledged animal health and welfare as two cornerstones for the global transition to sustainable, responsible and efficient livestock production models, and OIE International Standards as key components in achieving a stronger, more resilient livestock production.

"It is not possible to discuss food and agriculture without considering the livestock sector, and especially the importance of animal health and animal welfare, which are not only about containing diseases but also have a significant bearing on the possibility to meet several of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 1 no poverty, SDG 2 zero hunger, SDG 3 good health, SDG 5 gender equality, SDG 8 economic growth)." Monique Eloit, Director General OIE

“We are in the middle of an extremely challenging period when it concerns animal health and welfare. The development of international standards and their proper implementation is one such challenge. And in some cases the solutions are clear – for example, developing technical knowledge among officials and businesses on animal welfare will help businesses to adapt OIE standards to their local context.” Dr Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Health Commissioner

During the round-table, Animal Health and Welfare: Two cornerstones for the future of globally diversified livestock production, hosted by Monique Eloit, Director General of the OIE, targeted discussions identified four essential elements required for animal health and welfare to become a base for the management of livestock production worldwide.

In their conclusions, the panelists highlighted:

1. That it is crucial for public decision-makers to commit to encouraging donors and financial institutions to support programmes aimed at improving animal health and welfare;

2. That every effort should be made:

- to promote compliance with international standards relating to animal health and welfare, for trade purposes as well as for designing national strategies;

- to ensure the best possible transparency of epidemiological information on the emergence of animal diseases, by immediately notifying such information via the OIE World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS);

- to contribute to the proper implementation of global strategies for the control of animal diseases, while keeping in mind the need for prudent use of veterinary medicinal products, especially antimicrobials; and

- to encourage a greater respect of animals, as it is a positive component of  sustainable production systems.

3. They also noted that the practical fulfilment of these commitments requires a coordinated approach between the partner international organisations, such as the Tripartite collaboration established between WHO, FAO and the OIE.

4. Lastly, the panellists strongly emphasised that the success of any actions in favour of the livestock sector can only be assured if they are accompanied by capacity-building programmes for national Veterinary Authorities aimed at the sustainable resilience and efficiency of these services.

Based on these conclusions and on those of the second high-level panel hosted by the European Union, approximately 70 Ministers of Agriculture gathered at the Ministers’ Conference on Saturday, 20 January will publish a common communiqué on: “Shaping the Future of Livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently”.

For more information contact:
OIE Communication Unit: media@oie.int

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