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First Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation addressed several challenges posed by the improvement of national animal health and welfare systems worldwide

Djerba, Tunisia 7-9 December 2010

Djerba, December 9 2010 – The first Global conference on Veterinary Legislation, organised by the OIE in Djerba, Tunisia from 7 to 9 of December was successful in highlighting the significance of veterinary legislation as a cornerstone of national veterinary good governance and infrastructures. Too many countries in the world - especially developing countries - lack updated veterinary legislation to address today's animal health and welfare challenges and those of the future.

OIE Director General, Dr. Bernard Vallat stressed:
“The OIE does not prescribe the model of national veterinary legislation but we encourage governments to modernize their national veterinary legislation through compliance with OIE technical standards and guidelines, allowing Member Countries to face new threats linked with globalization, climate change and with the emergence and reemergence of animal diseases, including those transmissible to humans”.

The Conference was successful in reaching its objectives:

  • raise awareness of the requirements for good governance of animal health and welfare systems and effective veterinary legislation, which covers all matters under the OIE mandate, including animal health, veterinary public health and animal welfare;
  • provide practical guidance on how OIE Members (particularly developing countries) can mobilize governments for:
    • modernizing national veterinary legislation in line with OIE technical standards and guidelines,
    • educating veterinarians in the public and private sector on their role and responsibilities according to the national legal framework and,
    • promoting the key role of veterinary statutory bodies in implementing critical components of veterinary legislation.

Actual progress has started through the PVS Pathway and the Veterinary Legislation Support Programme (VLSP)

The OIE Performance of Veterinary Services Pathway (PVS) occurs at the request of the Member country to the OIE and involves an evaluation by experts trained and accredited by the OIE of the compliance of Veterinary Services with OIE standards on quality. This mission may be followed – upon request - by a Gap analysis and improvement proposals, as well as other missions of support. That Pathway is the organisation’s main lever for providing practical help on a voluntary basis to enable the Veterinary Services of all countries to converge, achieve compliance with OIE standards and put in place good governance of their structure and their operating procedures.
Any Member Country that has participated in an OIE PVS evaluation can request a Veterinary Legislation support Programmes (VLSP) as an additional mission designed to provide advice and assistance with modernising its national veterinary legislation.

In 2008, the OIE published the first global technical Guidelines on Veterinary Legislation which was followed by the conduct of missions under the VLSP. At 30 September 2010, the OIE had, at the request of Members, already conducted 14 national Identification missions worldwide. A training session of additional OIE-accredited legislation experts took place in Djerba right after this conference to support needed global expansion of the VLSP. At the conference, OIE Members also supported the development of additional OIE standards and guidelines on legislation.

Several key multilateral and key bilateral donors have strongly supported the PVS Pathway and associated capacity building and legislation activities of the OIE.

The Global Conference on Veterinary Legislation was organised with the generous support of the government of Tunisia, the European Commission, Australia, and a few national sponsors.
Representatives of more than 120 OIE Members Countries and of international and regional organisations took part in the Conference, which welcomed close to 400 participants.

Background information

Guidelines on Veterinary Legislation

2009 OIE Global Conference on Veterinary Education