Cotonou, Benin

Conclusions 2nd regional seminar on veterinary legislation WAEMU ECOWAS (Cotonou)

Participants of the OIE Legislation Seminar are aware that the good governance of Veterinary Services (VS) is of critical importance in allowing them to fulfil their missions and that good quality veterinary legislation is a key component of governance and efficient VS;

The aim of OIE PVS Pathway is to support Member Countries in their efforts to strength the VS to comply with international standards and the Veterinary Legislation Support Programme (VLSP) is an opportunity to review their legal situation and modernise their legislation, using the support of the VLSP;

The follow up of the PVS pathway missions reports and the implementation of the recommendations, is a responsibility of countries. The OIE could provide support to countries in the organisation of round tables of donors;

It is also a responsibility of OIE Member countries to seek for the allocation of national funds and to request financial support to donors, in order to implement specific recommendations of PVS Pathway mission reports, such as specific consultations to create the inventory of national legislation; the creation of a legislation database; the distribution of existing legislation and capacity building on legislation to field staff; recruitment of personnel and jurists to make operational the VS organogram and to adopt and implement veterinary legislation;

In the preparation of updating veterinary legislation, the new Chapter 3.4 of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code, is an invaluable resource that shall be used;

The preparation of national veterinary legislation is an strictly internal exercise that should be constructed by veterinarians and jurists working together, in order to guarantee consistency with national legal framework and consistency with international regulations;

The consultation with all relevant stakeholders is essential in the preparation of veterinary legislation, in order to improve it, ensure its implementation and to prevent inappropriate statements to avoid obligations that cannot be met. Specific involvement of livestock keepers is requested;

The purpose of veterinary legislation is to provide a legal basis to protect animal and human health in the country, rather than to protect the interests of any particular group;

Regional Economic Communities (REC) and regional organisations are an opportunity to develop harmonised veterinary legislation and rules at the regional level, in consultation with OIE in order to ensure global consistency, and including their member countries in the process, in order to guarantee the adoption within the context of respective national regulations;

REC and regional organisations could play an important role, by organising seminars to further develop topics addressed during this legislation seminar, including, general and specialised legislation, emphasising the importance of horizontal juridical aspects in the development of laws, regulations and other juridical instruments;

The WAEMU and the OIE developed a successful technical and financial collaboration in the organisation of this seminar

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