Agriculture Ministers support OIE commitment to shape the future of livestock (en anglais)

Dr Monique Eloit, OIE Director General, addressing the Ministers during the Berlin Agriculture Ministers´ Conference 2018.

Last Saturday, the 69 Ministers’ delegations participating in the 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture handed over a document with calls for action to the Directors general of the OIE and FAO in order to shape the future of a more sustainable, responsible and efficient livestock production.

22 January 2018, Paris – The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture ended on Saturday 20 January 2018, in Berlin, Germany. At this occasion, the 69 Ministers of Agriculture participating in the Ministers’ conference handed over to Dr Monique Eloit, OIE Director General, and Mr. José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director General, a Communiqué listing actions to be implemented to shape the future of livestock.

The need to improve animal health and welfare was clearly stated, with four principal areas of work, namely: disease prevention and control, animal welfare management, fight against antimicrobial resistance, as well as capacity building.

Read the full communiqué
:"Shaping the future of livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently"

In the context of the projection of a rising demand for food of animal origin in many regions of the world due to the growing population, sufficient access to veterinary services and improved management regarding animal health and animal welfare, could lead to increased global animal production by around 20%.

In addition, livestock production, which can have environmentally significant impacts on soil,
water and air contributes to climate change, is also impacted by climate change.Therefore it is more important than ever to control emerging or reoccurring animal diseases.

To this end, the Communiqué expresses the Ministers’ intention to support the National Veterinary Authorities in policy and strategy development in order to implement and enhance effective and efficient disease prevention, control and eradication measures. It also reminds countries of their obligation to immediately report outbreaks of animal diseases to the OIE and support the modernisation of the internet-based World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS+).

Global animal disease programmes were acknowledged, such as the joint OIE and FAO strategies for the eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) and foot-and-mouth disease, as well as the joint OIE, WHO and FAO action plan on eradicating dog-mediated rabies.

On that premise, the Ministers called for strengthened international cooperation, notably for deploying more efficient national and crossborder control of animal disease, in particular under the umbrella of the Global Framework for the Progressive Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (GFTAD) platform jointly established by FAO and OIE.

The consumer’s expectations of a livestock production which is more sustainable and more respectful of animal welfare were ascertained. Furthermore the need for husbandry systems allowing to simultaneously deal with animal welfare and secure animal health was acknowledged. To reach these objectives, the OIE Global Animal Welfare Strategy and the results of the OIE’s work on welfare international standards were accentuated as indispensable tools to be implemented by the countries in order to improve both animal welfare and health worldwide.

The global challenge to fight the occurrence and spread of antimicrobial resistance was also highlighted as a crucial common concern by numerous Ministers, which needs to be addressed  by applying the "One Health" concept, meaning in a coordinated multi-sectorial approach. The esablished objective of restricting the use of antibiotics in veterinary medicine to therapeutic uses is in line with the OIE international Standards on the responsible and prudent use of antimicrobial agents. In this context, the conference participants acknowledged the WHO Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance, the FAO’s Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance and the OIE Strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance and the Prudent Use of Antimicrobials as key strategies to be developed now at country level.

Finally, the importance of capacity building as well as research and innovation was emphasised. The communiqué recommends giving greater consideration to animal health and animal welfare in training programmes that are based on the International Standards developed by the OIE, and to expand international exchange of knowledge and experiences.

Furthermore an appeal was made to FAO, OIE and International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) to collaboratively promote the international consultation on sustainable, responsible and efficient livestock production systems, and to develop good practices, based on integrated assessments, intergovernmental processes and multi-stakeholder consultations.

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