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75th Annual General Session of the International Committee of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)

20 - 25 May, 2007

Paris, 25 May 2007 The 75th Annual General Session of the International Committee of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) was held in Paris from 20 to 25 May 2007 .

Approximately 600 participants representing the 169 Member Countries, intergovernmental (FAO, WHO, World Bank, WTO etc.), regional and national organisations took part in the event. The Session was honoured by the presence of high-ranking authorities, including numerous Ministers of OIE Member Countries.

Member Countries praised the role played by the OIE for the global effort in improving animal health worldwide and national veterinary services. They particularly saluted the conducting of missions in 19 Member Countries using the Performance, Vision and Strategy tool (PVS) in the course of the year with the support of several key donors.

They also encouraged the pursuing of seminars on communication for veterinary services based on the first seminar conducted with representatives of countries of the OIE Regional Commission for Europe at the end of 2006.

Standard-setting, diagnostic test certification and veterinary expertise

  • - The worldwide zoosanitary situation has been examined and commented in detail;
  • The International Committee confirmed the world situation for highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 stabilised but recommended to remain vigilant;
  • Consistent with the framework of its usual standard-setting activities, the Committee updated and adopted new international standards, aimed at providing better safeguards for the sanitary safety of world trade, as well as guidelines to better implement surveillance of animal diseases and zoonoses in countries;
  • Based on the unprecedented outbreaks of bluetongue in northern Europe in 2006, the code chapter on the disease was updated;
  • The session validated the Platelia Rabies II diagnostic kit of Bio-Rad laboratory, the first diagnostic kit to undergo the new validation and certification procedure for diagnostic assays and to appear on the OIE assays register;
  • The international Committee accredited the application of four new Collaborating Centres and 14 Reference Laboratories, taking the OIE network to a number of 199 worldwide;
  • Two technical items were presented and debated during the Session and gave rise to Resolutions passed by the International Committee:
  • The use of epidemiological models for the management of animal diseases;
  • The role of Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres in providing permanent support for the objectives and mandates of the OIE;
  • The high level of scientific expertise of the speakers and the quality of the debates that followed the presentation of each technical item will have served to promote the global application of concepts that are essential for improved control of animal diseases and zoonoses;
  • The Committee also voted a resolution allowing the People’s Republic of China to take full part in OIE’s activities .

Official OIE sanitary status recognition of Member Countries

  • The official status recognition procedure, followed as always a strict democratic process in which the OIE Scientific Commission, renowned international experts and all 168 Member Countries were involved at different stages;
  • The new classification criteria for official sanitary status recognition on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), adopted in 2006, were applied for the first time. A first new list of countries or zones recognized with a BSE controlled risk or negligible risk was confirmed. The Session also approved the lists of countries or zones recognized by the OIE as being free from: foot and mouth disease, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia and rinderpest;
  • The OIE reiterated its objective, shared with the FAO, to declare the world free of rinderpest by 2010.

Animal welfare

  • Member Countries brought their support to the new ‘Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare’ proposed by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), a consortium of 200 non-governmental organisations which is also a permanent member of the OIE international working group on animal welfare;

Agreements signed

  • A memorandum of understanding with WSPA was signed stressing on an increased collaboration between the two parties.
  • Other agreements were signed with: the International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS), the International Federation for Animal Health (IFAH), CAB International and SSAFE “ Safe Supply of Affordable Food for Everyone Everywhere” .