Paris, France

The 78th OIE General Session : OIE Director General re-elected for 5 years and Lesotho declared free of FMD

The 78th General Session of the OIE, which has just been concluded, presented an opportunity to renew the mandate of the current Director General, Dr. Bernard Vallat, for 5 more years. This will give him the time to carry out the 5th Strategic Plan 2011-2015, approved by the World Assembly of Delegates during this same General Session.

The Hon. Minister for Livestock, Forestry and Range of Somalia, M. Abukar Abdi Ossman, receiving the OIE official certificate of country freedom from rinderpest from Dr. Bernard Vallat, Director General. Picture (c) D. Mordzinski (oie) 2010.

The highlight of the opening session was the presence of H.R.H. Princess Haya Bint El Hussein of Jordan, in her capacity as President of the International Equestrian Federation (Fédération Equestre Internationale or FEI).

The African guests of honour were the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development of Algeria, Dr Rachid Benaissa, the Minister of Agriculture, Animal husbandry and of the Sea, in charge of hydraulic resources of Djibouti, M. Abdoulkader Mohamed Kamil, the Minister of Animal Husbandry of Senegal, Mrs Oumou Khaïry Gueye Seck, the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry of Niger, Mr. Malick Sadelher, as well as the Minister for Livestock, Forestry and Range of Somalia, M. Abukar Abdi Ossman.

Certificates of official status of country-freedom for rinderpest were handed to the representatives of Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Djibouti, Niger, Nigeria and Somalia. During the same session, and by recommendation of the Scientific Commission for animal diseases, Lesotho was –for the first time- declared free of foot-and-mouth disease, Swaziland recovered its FMD-free status, suspended following the outbreaks of 2000 – 2001, Botswana added a FMD-free zone (without vaccination) to its export zones.

No (African) country could improve its status with respect to the BSE (all African countries remain at the level of “undetermined risk” and no changes occurred in the list of CBPP – free member countries. Fears that CBPP would be de-listed as one of the (4) “officially recognised” diseases (as opposed to self-declarations) were invalidated by the intervention of the People’s Republic of China, which made it known that it intends in months to come, to enter the pathway to be declared free of CBPP.

In addition, the introduction of a first equine disease, African Horse Sickness to this list of officially recognised diseases was approved in principle. This will bring the number of OIE-audited recognitions to 5 in the foreseeable future, awaiting development of the reloated pathway : rinderpest, FMD, CBPP, BSE and AHS. In principle, another (equine) diseases, glanders, will be added soon.

Regarding the Terrestrial Code, the principal modifications are related to the possibility of compartmentalisation for FMD and bovine leucosis, while the provisions to attain such recognition of compartmentalisation have now been clearly listed in the Code’s horizontal chapters (volume 1) § 4.3.3. and 4.4. The chapters on S. enteritidis and S. typhimirium (6.6.) have been deleted to the benefit of a more comprehensive generic chapter on Salmonella prevention, detection and control in poultry farms (6.5.). Several disease chapters (volume 2) have been completed with sections on trade of safe commodities (Aujeszky disease, bluetongue, Rift valley fever, West Nile fever).

Regarding Classical swine fever, it has now been adopted that countries, zones or compartments can be regarded as free of infection, even if vaccination is applied, as long as the vaccine enables to distinguish infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA principles).

Bovine cysticercosis, dermatophilosis, epizootic lymphangitis, horse pox, horse mange and swine atrophic rhinitis were delisted as OIE listed diseases.

The definition of ‘competent authority’ has been reviewed in both the Terrestrial and Aquatic Code, while the latter introduced a definition of Aquatic Animal Health Services. The related chapter 3.1. on the quality of these Services was thoroughly reviewed and aligned with the Terrestrial Code.

Moreover, in the Aquatic Code, necrotising hepatopancreatitis (under study since 2009) will now be listed.

New OIE Reference Laboratories were recognized in the USA (rabies), Korea (Newcastle disease), Italy (West Nile fever) and Chinese Taipei (Abalone herpes-like virus).

A new joint OIE Collaborating Centre was recognized in Canada and Norway (OIE Collaborating Centre for Epidemiology and Risk Assessment of Aquatic Animal Diseases) as well as in the USA (OIE Collaborating Centre for Animal Disease Surveillance and Risk Analysis) and in Japan (OIE Collaborating Centre for Control and Diagnosis of Priority Animal Diseases in Asia and for the evaluation of veterinary products used for these diseases)

The OIE Regional Commission for Africa, in full session on May 23rd, renewed, as requested by the interested members, a part of the Bureau of the Regional Commission.

The President will henceforth be Dr Berhe Gebreeziabher (Ethiopia) with as Vice-presidents Dr. Mohamed Abdel Razig Abdel Aziz (Sudan) and Dr. Mahamadou Saley (Niger). Dr. Marosi Molomo (Lesotho) remains Secretary-General. The mandate of this Commission expires in May 2012.

All pictures (c) D. Mordzinski and P. Bastiaensen (oie) 2010, unless mentioned otherwise.

More information (previous General Session) :

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