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27th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania

Teheran, 30 November 2011 - High-ranking officials from 16 Member Countries of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania, including national, regional and international organisations, attended the 27th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania, held in Teheran (Iran) from 19 to 23 November 2011. That region includes the major part of world human and animal population.

Discussions dealt with the animal health situation and in particular with epidemiological developments and control of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the Region. FMD outbreaks have continued to occur widely over the last years in particular due to the rapid increase of trade.

“Today more than 100 countries in the world are still non officially free of FMD. Regional and country levels are the priority areas for intervention”, said Dr Bernard Vallat, Director General of the OIE. “We have to build on the experience of existing regional programmes to achieve FMD control worldwide and we must get firm political and economic commitment from governments and donors to strengthen Veterinary Services to achieve FMD control”, Dr Vallat added.  

Participants reasserted the need to rely on good veterinary governance including suitable legislation, and human and financial resources, that comply with the standards of quality adopted by the OIE. Specific tools and methods to progressively control and eradicate FMD in the Region have been discussed such as surveillance, early detection, rapid response, vaccination, public awareness and private-public partnerships.

Attendants took the opportunity to welcome the next Global Conference on FMD Control which will be organised by the OIE and the FAO in Bangkok (Thailand) from 27 to 29 June, 2012.

Active participation of Members in the development of the OIE Codes

The Conference also outlined the importance of a strong collaboration between the OIE and its Members in the Region to ensure their active participation in the consensual development of OIE standards both for terrestrial and aquatic animals.

It was pointed out that aquaculture is the world’s fastest growing food production sector, with more than 90% of the 53 million tonnes of global farmed fish and shellfish production originating in the Far East, Asia and Oceania Region. Devastating impacts of aquatic animal diseases in this Region have clearly demonstrated the risks associated with international trade and the vulnerability of aquaculture to the spread of disease.  
Thus, the update and implementation of the OIE standards are essential to enhance the safety of international trade in animals and animal products, and foster harmonisation of national legislations and control measures.

2011 marks the 250th anniversary of the creation of the veterinary profession and has been declared “World Veterinary Year”. More than 100 OIE Member Countries including Iran have been heavily involved in promoting the pivotal role of veterinarians in the prevention and control of infectious animal diseases, including zoonoses, in animal welfare or in food safety, and have set up special celebrations to get this message across. During the Conference Iran presented the activities and events it organised  throughout the year. Celebrations of the World Veterinary Year have been a tremendous asset to convey the message that activities of the veterinary profession represent a true Global Public Good.

The Conference was kindly hosted by the Government of Iran. It was chaired by Dr Sayed Mohsen Dastoor with the support of the OIE Headquarters and the OIE Regional Representation for Asia, the Far East and Oceania.