11/20/17 06:58

30th Conference of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania

20-24 November 2017 Putrajaya, Malaysia,

A greater commitment of the OIE Members in the standards setting process as well as in the implementation of these standards for an improved control of the animal health related risks.

 

Putrajaya, 24 November 2017 - The 30th Conference of the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE) Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania, whose composition totals 36 Members, was held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, from 20th to 24th November 2017. His Excellency Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Hj. Bakar, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro Based Industry welcomed the participants and officially opened the conference on behalf of H.E. Dato' Sri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Minister of Agriculture and Agro Based Industry.

The event gathered national Delegates and/or their representatives of 19 Members of the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania, representatives of international and regional organisations involved in animal and veterinary public health activities and numerous other experts, including representatives from the public health sector and private sector as observers.

A key point of the Conference was to discuss the progress made in the implementation of the OIE 6th Strategic Plan 2016-2020. Having emphasised in her Opening speech the animal diseases related-risks in the region, Dr Monique Eloit, OIE Director General then underlined the key issues relevant to the region for each strategic objective, namely the reinforcement of transparency on the sanitary situation, the improvement of animal health and welfare by appropriate risk management and the strengthening of national Veterinary Services for a better governance.

A more detailed presentation made by the Bureau of Regional Commission allowed to better identify the successes as well as the domains for which improvements are needed. Furthermore, Dr Eloit highlighted the importance of improving the implementation of OIE international standard and she introduced the new OIE initiative aiming at a better understanding of the level of implementation of OIE standards by Members, named the OIE Observatory. An infographic describing the project is available here. To support the development of this Observatory, the national Delegates are called to complete the related questionnaire which will provide a better overview of their challenges through an analysis presented in the Technical Item I of the upcoming General Session, in May 2018. This information will be precious to provide support to the Members for a better involvement in the standard-setting process.

Regional Conferences provide an excellent opportunity to conduct in-depth discussions of issues of regional interest regarding animal health and welfare. Dr Eloit congratulated the region for establishing an excellent coordination, which makes it used as a model of work coordination by other OIE regions.

Regional and Inter-regional cooperation between Members is highly recommended to ensure regional harmonised approaches to disease control strategies in order to stop their spread, thus ensuring the development of international trade in the region. Members were in particular encouraged to ensure transparent and timely notifications by nominating National Focal Points for Aquatic Animals, considering the importance of aquatic animal diseases to this geographical area. The fisheries industry is critically important to global and national economies. Yet, the region is facing severe aquatic animal health issues such as the threat from acute hepatopancreatic necrosis disease and tilapia lake virus, for which the importance of the continuing reporting was highlighted.

Furthermore, participants were provided with detailed information, analyses, and trends on the priority animal diseases of Asia, the Far East and Oceania, collected through the OIE World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS). They were recalled to continue the timely reporting of outbreaks of infection with avian influenza viruses, in particular considering the associated risk for human health, as well as reporting outbreaks in wildlife, to ensure a clearer epidemiological understanding of the disease situation while avoiding any unjustified impact on trade in poultry and poultry products.

Lastly, countries were encouraged to intensify their involvement in the fight against antimicrobial resistance, the control of animal diseases, notably Peste des petits ruminants, rabies and foot and mouth disease and the implementation of the regional animal welfare strategy.

OIE authorities and conference participants thanked Malaysia for its hospitality.

The conference was kindly hosted by the Malaysian Government.

 

About the technical items discussed during the meeting:

How to implement farm biosecurity: the role of government and private sector

The implementation of biosecurity interventions suitable for smallholders is a complex process aimed at empowering people to make better personal and collective decisions. As the practices of the commercial sector demonstrate, and public-private partnerships offer, implementing appropriate biosecurity measures is key to an efficient disease control. Furthermore, it contributes to improve livestock productivity as well as financial outcomes. Therefore, it provides opportunities for sustainable improvements in livelihoods and economic development notably through a more effective control of transboundary animal diseases, such as FMD.

 

Surveillance and risk mitigation measures for illegal and unregulated movement of animals across borders or through markets

Livestock movements are considered a major factor in the transmission of transboundary animal diseases, including some important diseases that pose a threat to the livestock industry. Illegal and unregulated movement of animals across borders or through markets have played a role in the introduction and spread of diseases in some parts of Asia.

Based on the example of PPR and FMD, this Technical Item discussed the importance of controlling animal movements to combat these diseases and presented some of the risk mitigation measures that have proved effective. The conclusions highlighted the importance of the surveillance of animals at farm level to prevent diseases entering and moving along the livestock market chain. Other measures were also discussed, such as good management of livestock and poultry markets and slaughterhouses, standstill of animals, quarantine and control of animal movement, vaccination zones, the opening of official animal movement routes and the need to develop new detection and diagnostic methods. It was also reminded that controlling transboundary animal diseases successfully necessitates the involvement of all countries of the region.

 

The recommendations related to the technical items adopted during the conference will be submitted to the OIE World Assembly in May 2018, for endorsement.

 
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