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At the Berlin “International Green Week”, the OIE and the European Commission confirm their shared commitment on animal health policies

Berlin, 20 January 2012 – Guest of Honour at the Berlin “International Green Week”, the Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), Dr Bernard Vallat, speaking at the stand of the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection (DG-SANCO), reiterated his appreciation for the work being carried out by the two organisations to promote animal health and welfare policies worldwide.

“I am delighted at the excellent collaboration between the OIE and the European Union, and especially DG-SANCO, and I particularly welcome the commitment shown by Commissioner Dalli on such key topics as animal welfare and veterinary public health which not only help to ensure the prevention and control of infectious animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans, but also contribute to world production of food of animal origin and food safety” declared Dr Vallat.

Wishing to intensify still further the cooperation they have established and built up in recent years, the OIE and the European Union have signed a memorandum of understanding to formalise their relations.

“In a world where more than 20% of animal production is lost as a result of animal diseases and where demand for animal protein is expected to double in the coming years, it is important to take concrete action and create the conditions and partnerships that will enable countries to put in place appropriate policies for the prevention and control of health risks”, commented Dr Vallat. “This is a “win-win” agreement for the OIE and for the European Union”, he added.

Animal welfare and the importance of communication

Given that animal welfare is an essential component of animal health and a growing concern for many consumers, the OIE and the European Union also emphasised their very positive collaboration in this field, notably within the framework of the new European Union strategy for the protection and welfare of animals and with the continuous development of OIE standards, adopted by 178 countries worldwide, with the support of the Member States of the European Union.

Underlining their shared vision on topics related to animal health, Dr Vallat also stressed the importance of the joint actions being carried out by the two organisations in the area of communication “to raise worldwide awareness of relevant animal health, veterinary public health and animal welfare policies that will meet the expectations of all the citizens of the world”.