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OIE/FAO International Conference on Avian Influenza - Paris, 7-8 April 2005

During the past few years we have witnessed the global emergence and re-emergence of several infectious animal diseases that have had a major impact on both animal and human health and evoked strong reactions from policy-makers and the media at the world-wide level.

Avian influenza is one of the animal re-emergent diseases with potential zoonotic impact for which the control is complicated by the predominant role of the wild birds in the dissemination of the virus over the world.

A particularly severe outbreak has hit South East Asia since the end of 2003. Since then the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), have been very active in coordinating the global control of the disease and supporting the infected countries in their efforts to eradicate it in the infected animal populations.

The Second FAO/OIE Regional Meeting on Avian Influenza Control in Animals in Asia will be held in Ho Chi Minh City on 23-25 February 2005. It will review recommendations of the first HPAI Emergency Regional Meeting held in Bangkok in February 2004 and discuss the evolution of the disease in the region.

In order to update the current scientific knowledge and to address the different aspects of the disease control based on this knowledge, OIE and FAO, in collaboration with WHO, also decided to jointly organize the "International Conference on Avian Influenza".

The Conference will take place at the OIE Headquarters in Paris (12, rue de Prony 75017 Paris - France) from 7 - 8 April 2005. Invited speakers will be selected by both a Steering and a Scientific Committee on the basis of their world wide scientific recognition.

It will be an opportunity to update and exchange the latest scientific information at a global level in order to improve, through these new basis, international standards and guidelines for a better global prevention and control of avian influenza, while ensuring the safety of consumers and the global trade of animals and their products. The resulting standards and guidelines will be implemented by the 167 Member Countries of the OIE.

More information about the Conference is available on the OIE website (http://oie.jouve-si.fr/oie_neweb/index.php?id=1), under "Events". Information about the procedures for participation in the conference may be requested by e-mail to the Conference Secretariat s.suarez@oie.int.

For press inquiries, please contact:

Maria Zampaglione
+33 1 44 15 18 51