Gaborone, Botswana

First OIE Regional Training Seminar on Veterinary Legislation (SADC, Gaborone)

A first pilot – training seminar of the OIE on veterinary legislation was concluded at the Botswana National Veterinary Laboratory in Sebele, north of Gaborone, on Wednesday 2 November 2011.

The seminar, focusing on veterinary legislation in southern Africa (OIE Members in the SADC region), was a first attempt by the OIE to strengthen capacity in the field of legislation, as part of the Veterinary Legislation Support Programme (VLSP) of the OIE, launched in 2008, and best known for its legislative support missions to member countries and territories.

Dr. Yacouba Samaké, OIE Regional Representative for Africa. Picture (c) P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2011

The invitation for the three-day seminar included the OIE Delegate, the Focal points for animal production food safety and for veterinary products, as well as registrars/chairpersons of veterinary statutory bodies and legal advisors to the veterinary authorities or the line-ministries in the SADC region. Overall, the seminar was attended by 75 participants and speakers, representing 13 out of the 15 SADC Member States (only Zambia and Mauritius were not represented). Speakers ? a healthy mix of veterinarians and lawyers – travelled from various parts of the world (Afghanistan, Belgium, Canada, France, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the USA) to deliver the 60+ presentations.

Presentations were in majority delivered in two or three language groups, in order to promote interaction and avoid language-based bias, keeping in mind that legislative drafting is very different from region to region (civil law, common law, religious law, customary law). The seminar focussed on the general principles of sound legislation (internal and external quality, the legislative hierarchy,…) and on two major pieces of legislation : animal disease control legislation and food safety legislation.

In addition, various other legal topics were briefly tackled, such as veterinary products, veterinary education and the veterinary profession. While the outcome of the seminar was regarded as extremely positive by the participants, future seminars, in Africa and in other regions of the world, will have to integrate lessons learnt from this first event.

The organisers are grateful for the financial support of the Government of Botswana and the European Commission (through the DG-SANCO funded “Better training for safer food” programme) as well as the technical inputs of e.g. the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to name but a few, along with the individual inputs of numerous technical experts, affiliated with the OIE or its reference laboratories, collaborating centres, PVS/VLSP programme or working groups/ad-hoc groups.

All pictures (c) P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2011, except where mentioned otherwise. 

Download the presentations (French and English)

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