Panama City, 30 June 2011 - The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Global Conference on Aquatic Animal Health Programmes demonstrated the important contribution of aquatic animal health policies and programmes, as well as of OIE standards and guidelines to securing food security globally.
Commenting on the event, Dr Bernard Vallat, OIE Director General said: “The world demand for animal proteins is constantly increasing; we must come up with sustainable solutions. Proteins derived from aquaculture are one of the solutions for feeding the planet. However, disease outbreaks in aquatic animals can cause catastrophic losses while the legislation and human and financial resources in most developing and in-transition countries are still inadequate to prevent these losses. This is why we must work hard to improve policies and programmes addressing prevention and control of aquatic animal diseases, and to convince the international community to support more cooperation programmes.”
The event was successful in addressing a series of related key issues:
Participants also identified practical steps to help manage the risks arising from aquaculture to public health, including food safety and the environment.
They discussed practical guidance on how countries, in particular developing countries, can mobilise governments and donors with the goal of improving disease control programmes through strengthening Veterinary Services and other competent authorities to meet the OIE standards for good governance, disease prevention and control and appropriate production practices.
Held in Panama from 28 to 30 June 2011, the conference served to underpin efforts of the OIE and its partners in promoting early detection and rapid response to aquatic animal disease outbreaks, including the role and responsibilities of the public and private sector, including farmers, veterinarians and other stakeholders. Participating speakers represented national Veterinary Services and other Competent Authorities, international organizations, as well as independent aquatic animal health experts and scientists.
The OIE is grateful for the support of the Government of the Republic of Panama, notably MIDA (the Ministry of Agriculture Development); MINSA (the Ministry of Health), AUPSA (the Panama Food Safety Authority) and ARAP (the Authority for Aquatic Resources).
The OIE also thanks the European Commission, OIRSA (the International Organisation of the Americas for Agriculture Health) and OSPESCA (the Central American Fishing and Aquaculture Sector Organisation), private sponsors, speakers and participants who contributed to make that event a success.