Heraklion, Greece

10th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee

The 10th meeting of the Joint Permanent Committee (JPC) of the Mediterranean Animal Health Network (REMESA) was held in Heraklion, Greece, on 16-17 March 2015. The meeting was attended by more than 30 people including Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs) of REMESA member countries, representatives from International and Regional Organisations and experts from International Reference Laboratories (European Commission, Arab Maghreb Union, FAO, OIE, EFSA, ENSV, EU-FMD, IZSLER Brescia and ISZVE Venice). The JPC was co-chaired by Greece and Algeria (which hold the co-presidency of REMESA for 2015). During the meeting, the discussions had continued to highlight the importance of the role of the REMESA platform as valuable network to continue to exchange information between countries of both shores so as to react with efficacy to the continuous challenges ? including issues related to trade – in the Mediterranean basin in the fields of animal and public health.
Working sessions
The agenda of the meeting was focused on discussions regarding the priority diseases identified by the network such as FMD, PPR, as well as Avian Influenza (AI) due to its recrudescence in the recent past. Lumpy Skin Disease and Sheep Pox and Goat Pox were also debated, since these diseases are getting an increasingly attention in the region. A session was dedicated to Good Governance of Veterinary Services emphasising the importance of the continual training for public and private veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals.
Working sessions

The participants discussed the reoccurrence of FMD in Algeria in March 2015 – after the epidemic occurred in 2014 – confirming that this disease represents a permanent risk of spreading in neighbouring countries currently free and that the risk of its introduction to Europe from Africa can be amplified if FMD becomes endemic in the North Africa region. For this reason, the CVOs of the Region insisted that OIE implements, with urgency, the Resolution adopted during the 9th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee held in Tunis (Tunisia) on 3-4 November 2014 related to the implementation of the FMD vaccine bank. In particular, it was envisaged the establishment – as soon as possible – of the Steering Committee for the vaccine bank as specified by the Resolution under consideration. In line with its objective, the Steering Committee will also be the appropriate framework to reinforce the sub-regional approach to control FMD, in compliance with the FAO/OIE Global FMD Control Strategy.
Group Photo

The presentations delivered during the session on AI gave the opportunity to review the epidemiological situation in the Mediterranean Region and, in parallel, highlighted the difficulties related to trade between importing and exporting countries when dealing with limited AI outbreaks. In this respect, Dr Monique Eloit (Deputy Director General of OIE) recalled the role that can be played by OIE to facilitate the mediation between the concerned parties in order to help them to resolve the disagreements. Additionally, she reminded the availability of OIE tools such as zooning and compartmentalisationto define sub-populations of distinct health status for the purpose of disease control and/or international trade while underlining the relevant difference between both concepts. The importance of establishing appropriate and updated sanitary certificates between trading partners was also highlighted.
Other matters were debated such as REEV-Med current activities, rabies, as well as sub-networks of REMESA and the related website.

The next meeting will be organised in Algeria in November 2015

More information on past meetings :

Tunis, Tunisia

9th meeting of the REMESA Joint Permanent Committee

November 01, 2014
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