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The 27th World Veterinary Congress, Tunis September 2002

Dr. Bernard Vallat, Director General of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) addressed veterinarians from 120 countries during the opening ceremony of the 27th World Veterinary Congress held in Tunis on September 27, 2002.

During the sessions of the Congress, the OIE, in conjunction with the FAO, and the World Bank organised an international workshop on “The Veterinary Services and Food Safety issues”. The participants addressed the role of the veterinary profession in guaranteeing a safe food supply, in managing food crisis and the relationship with the media and the consumers, as well as the improved epidemiological surveillance of animals.

The safety of the food of animal origin is one of the priorities of the OIE in conjunction with the Codex Alimentarius. The OIE has decided to focus its standard-setting activities in the reduction of food borne risks to human health arising during the animal production phases preceding slaughter of animals and the first transformation of animal products.

Dr. Vallat also renewed his commitment, made during the recent ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Doha, to support developing countries in having a more active participation in the sanitary standard setting process and their national implementation, with particular emphasis on the control of animal diseases and the safety of foods of animal origin. He restated the urgent necessity to assist the veterinary services and the laboratories of developing countries by providing them with the infrastructures, the resources and the capacities to better profit from the benefits of the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement.

The conclusions of the Congress submitted by the OIE have been officially published by the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

HELD IN TUNIS ON 25-28 SEPTEMBER 2002 – A WTO document

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