Opening ceremony [from the left to the right: Dr Simona Forcella (Chargée de mission, Status Department, OIE Headquarters) – Dr Rachid Bouguedour (OIE Sub-Regional Representative for North Africa) – Mr Samir Attaieb (His Excellency, the Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia) – Dr Malek Zrelli (OIE Delegate and CVO of Tunisie). Picture © J. Mérot (oie) 2017.
The OIE Sub-Regional Representation for North Africa and the Status Department (OIE Headquarters) organised in Tunis (Tunisia) on 14-16 March 2017 a OIE Sub-Regional Workshop on the OIE procedure for the endorsement of national official control programme with regard to foot and mouth disease and peste des petits ruminants for French-speaking countries from Africa. This workshop was officially opened by His Excellency, the Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of Tunisia, Mr Samir Attaieb.
The OIE has developed a procedure for the official recognition of disease status for six diseases of economic importance; namely foot and mouth disease (FMD), African horse sickness (AHS), classical swine fever (CSF), contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) and peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and for the risk vis-à-vis bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In addition the OIE has extended this procedure to endorse the national official control programmes for FMD, CBPP and PPR.
The official recognition of disease status of Member Countries is of great significance for international trade and constitutes one of the most important legal links between the OIE and World Trade Organization (WTO), in the framework of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement), which entered into force in 1995. In 1998, the official agreement between WTO and the OIE further confirmed the OIEs mandate to recognise disease-and pest-free areas based on the SPS Agreement.
The workshop was mainly focused on the procedure for the endorsement of national official control programme. It was aimed at strengthening the capacity of the OIE French-speaking Member Countries in Africa to better compile a dossier for the endorsement of national official control programme for FMD and/or PPR – with the final objective to move forward to the official recognition of FMD and/or PPR status, in accordance with OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.
To provide the participants with information on the OIE standards and on the OIE procedure relevant to the national control programme endorsement as well as official recognition of FMD and PPR status;
To create awareness for the interest of having disease free zones or countries, for the benefits already explained above;
To capacitate Member Countries on the preparation of dossiers for the endorsement of the national official control programmes by the OIE and/or for the official recognition of disease status with regard to FMD and PPR and related technical questions;
To clarify the countries’ role and responsibilities when preparing and submitting applications;
To strengthen the sub-regional network of veterinarians working on FMD and PPR;
To provide expertise on technical questions related to the programmes;
To explain the link between the PPR and FMD Global Strategy and the OIE Procedure for the endorsement of official control programmes.
A total of 40 representatives of Veterinary Services, among them 12 OIE Delegates, from 21 African French-speaking countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African (Rep.), Chad, Congo (Rep. of the), Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia) attended this workshop. This workshop which included many working group sessions was facilitated by the two representatives of the Status Department (OIE Headquarters), supported by experts from OIE Reference Laboratories for FMD (Dr Labib BAKKALI KASSIMI from ANSES and Dr Emiliana BROCCHI from IZSLER) and a member of the OIE Laboratories Commission (Dr Mehdi EL HARRAK).
Group photograph. Picture © J. Mérot (oie) 2017.
All pictures © J. Mérot (oie) 2017, unless mentioned otherwise