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The World Organisation for Animal Health at the 28th World Veterinary Congress

The 28th World Veterinary Congress took place in Minneapolis (USA), from 16 to 20 July 2005 and was held in conjunction with the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) Annual Convention.

Nearly 9,000 participants attended this major event which brought together world renowned experts in animal diseases including those transmissible to humans, and in animal welfare. It was a unique opportunity to exchange state-of-the-art veterinary knowledge and information at a global level.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) participation to the event has been significant. At the opening ceremony, the Director General, Dr Bernard Vallat was a key note speaker together with Dr Herbert Schneider, the President of the World Veterinary Association and Mrs Barbara Bush, the former US First Lady.

In his speech, Dr Vallat stressed the link existing between the public and the private sector in the veterinary profession, emphasizing the increasing scarcity of veterinarians in rural areas. "This is a worldwide phenomenon. If we are to continue to ensure early detection and response to animal diseases, including zoonoses and emerging diseases, as well as the health protection and surveillance of wildlife, we will have to seriously consider this trend at a global level together with governments and educational authorities. There is also a need for greater involvement of the veterinary profession in food safety inspection, research and administration", he said.

Aside from the main event, the OIE organized a seminar about the new demand of the society for the veterinary profession which brought together high level representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Delegates of OIE Member Countries, public and private veterinarians, scientists, risk managers, industry and NGOs representatives.

The Director General also participated in a seminar organized by the FAO in collaboration with OIE and the World Health Organization (WHO) on "Animal Disease Surveillance and Control"

In addition, the OIE also co-organized a two days seminar in collaboration with the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety of the University of Minnesota, aiming at strengthening the global food safety system for animal origin products. Representatives of major global food companies, high officials of international organizations and members of the academic sector discussed collaboration strategies in order to achieve improved human and animal health, economies' growth, reliable supply chains and increased resources for the Veterinary Services worldwide.

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