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Third annual meeting of the OIE Animal Welfare Working Group - 7-9 December 2004

The OIE Animal Welfare Working group reviewed the reports of four expert groups, which had met earlier in the year to develop science based draft standards on sea transport, land transport, slaughter, and depopulation methods for disease control. The Working Group examined the reports, including the recommendations from the First Animal Welfare Global Conference, and provided their feed back and comments to the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code Commission (Code Commission) for consideration prior to submitting these draft standards for adoption during the May 2005 General Session(the general assembly of the representatives of 167 OIE Member Countries).
The report of this Working Group, including the draft standards and the reports from the expert groups will be available on the OIE website as part of the report of the Code Commission meeting of January 2005. This Commission is elected by OIE Member Countries and has the responsibility for presenting OIE standards for adoption at the General Session. The documents will be available for review and comment by all stakeholders, who will be encouraged to provide their comments directly to their respective national OIE representatives (Delegates).

The Working Group also examined how to improve the collaboration by the OIE with other relevant international organizations and NGOs on matters of animal welfare. The Group made recommendations to the Director General as to how to incorporate and comment the views of interested stakeholders in the work of the Working Group without compromising the scientific nature of the standards being developed.

While examining the 2005 work plan, the Group also developed a strategy and prioritized areas for future work. Among other areas the Group recommended the development and distribution of didactic material on animal welfare to be incorporated in veterinary curriculum throughout the world.

"We expect to have a strong interest of the OIE Member Countries in May 2005 when for the first time in history the entire international community will be committed to endorse standards aimed at the protection of animals" commented the Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat. "As of today, the OIE has made a lot of progress in the field of animal health which is a strong component of welfare, but now we are ready to go further than that", Dr Vallat added.

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