Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***



PARIS FRANCE, 25-30 MAY, 2013


The general assembly was attended by over 850 participants, representing member countries of the OIE, international, intergovernmental, regional, national organisations which took part in the session which also marked 90 years, since the founding of the organization in 1924.


To mark the special year Directors General of the World Health Organisation and the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations also attended.  This gathering therefore symbolised the ever-increasing need for intersectoral collaboration in tackling new challenges linked to the control of diseases at the animal-human ecosystem interface, on a global scale.


Main Outputs of the Meeting

The world assembly adopted 40 resolutions on the basis of a democratic vote of “one country, one voice”

Two new members were admitted for membership, namely, South Sudan and Liberia, raising to 180, the total number of member countries.


A. New international standards and guidelines under developments were in the areas of

1.      International movements of competition horses. A new standard was adopted setting the basis of a ‘high health status’ horse subpopulation. Detailed guidelines will now be developed over the coming years.  This development is a result of the successful collaboration of the OIE with the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities.  It is therefore advantageous that countries enhance their partnerships with the private horse industries for more successful international coordination in this area.

2.      Animal welfare with respect to article 7.10.3 on broiler chicken production regarding relevant issues on feed conversion rates was revised.  Work continues on welfare standards for dairy cattle and work animals

3.      Antimicrobial resistance. Three chapters of the terrestrial animal health code on antimicrobial resistance were adopted including chapter 6.10 on risk assessment for antimicrobial resistance arising from the use of antimicrobial agents in animals

4.      Chapters on Brucellosis were merged into a single chapter combining

B abortus, B. melitensis and B. suis in order to harmonise their control measures

5.      The chapter on African Horse Sickness  (12.1) was revised with respect to its compatibility with Official status recognition applications by countries.

6.      New chapters on aquatic animal diseases were adopted covering

a.       Infection with salmonid alphaviruses

b.      Chapter providing criteria for determining susceptibility of aquatic animals to specific pathogens given that over 500 different aquatic animal species are farmed globally, with new ones brought into production annually

B. Other developments

7.      Following the global rinderpest eradication of 2011, member countries have committed themselves to destroying or safely storing in a minimum number of facilities worldwide, under OIE-FAO approval and supervision.  Five institutions in four countries, which have applied for this status could therefore be considered for accreditation in May 2015.


8.      On official recognition of disease status, 88 countries were presented to the assembly for adoption for disease to which these apply namely; BSE, FMD, CBPP, AHS, PPR.  Classical Swine Fever (CSF) will be on the list of such provisions from this year.  Members can,  if they wish, also apply for official OIE endorsement of their national control programs with respect to FMD, PPR and CBPP



a.       11 countries were recognized as having a negligible risk of BSE. This adds to all countries already having an officially recognized status


b.      For FMD, Korea was recognized free from FMD with vaccination, New zones were recognized as officially free from the disease without vaccination in Argentina; Free with vaccination in Brazil while Ecuador’s national control program for FMD control was endorsed


c.       14 countries were recognized free from AHS


d.      Argentina, Canada and Singapore were officially listed as free from C


e.       For the first time, 48 countries were recognized as free from PPR.



9.      Acknowledging the distribution of PPR, a devastating disease of small ruminants, which is now present in a large part of Africa, the Middle East and Asia as a priority disease, the global PPR control strategy a joint FAO/OIE (GF-TADs) initiative is seen as a way to contribute to poverty alleviation and further develop global and regional trade in animals and animal products.


The PPR strategy will include mechanisms to protect PPR free countries.  The success of the rinderpest strategy provides a model for long-term continuous efforts including global and regional coordination for PPR eradication programs.


10.  On the scientific network of the OIE and capacity building and service,

a.       nine new reference laboratories and six new collaborating centres were accredited, bringing the centres of scientific excellence to 296 in 44 countries over the 5 continents.


b.      Twinning of laboratories, which began in 2006 to encourage the exchange of competencies and experiences between the OIE reference and collaborating centres and developing countries, 19 twinnings have now been achieved while 30 are under consideration.  So far 2 of the laboratories developed under this twinning arrangements have now attained Reference Centre status as of 2014.


c.       Since 2013, twinning projects among Veterinary Education Establishments and Veterinary Statutory Bodies have been getting the support of the OIE.  About 20 such initiatives are currently under consideration.


C. Other new developments on the world animal health situation discussed were about:

·         the advent of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Virus (MERS), a zoonotic disease involving humped camels


·         advent of the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) in some countries in America and Asia and the need for risk analysis with respect to international trade in pigs and pork products;


·         occurrence of the mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Brazil;


·         occurrence of influenza viruses H5N8 and H7N9 in Asia;


·         occurrence and spread of African Swine Fever in Eastern Europe


D. Things for us to note


i.         ILRI under a Bill and Melinda Gates fund project is on a 4-year project towards an improved vaccine for East Coast Fever (ECF)


ii. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation has facilities for vaccine banks in some parts of the world. It is also supporting quality assurance work on PPR and FMD at the AU-PANVAC in Ethiopia


iii. The BADEA (Arab) Bank has a facility covering Tsetse control interest on the continent.


iv. FAO and OIE are very keen to explore the use of mobile technologies in disease surveillance.  This will likely be an area for discussion in up-coming meetings


v. A user-friendly test for spot testing cysticercosis in pig carcasses is facilitating the work of food inspectors and as a marketing tool. The test is based on an application using lateral-flow technology


vi. The PVS tool developed by the OIE for enhancing veterinary governance has attracted the interest of the WHO which is now considering adopting the tool for use in assessing human health delivery systems of member countries.


vii. Certain inconsistencies in the FMD articles of the code could complicate the developments on CBT


viii. In furtherance of CBT given our situation, support a more risk-based food chain approach as applied for the CODEX standards.


ix   The arrival of PPR in Zimbabwe can have a negative impact in livelihoods since 99% of the sheep and goat population are in the small-holder sector.


E. Things for us to do

i. Explore opportunities under the GF-TADs for countries applying for disease-free status


ii. Liaise with the Equine private sector fraternity to look into contributing to the developments of the HHH standards especially with respect to risks and measures to be applied


iii. Develop a concept note for the STDF of WTO on standards and our capacity to implement them with respect to reentering the beef export market.  NB July, 2014 deadline


iv Check development of IPPC and Codex electronic certification system vs developments on OIE electronic certification developments (chapter 5.2).


v. Review the OIE’s 6th strategic plan for submission of comments to the OIE before August, 2014


vi. Investigate the Code standards for declaration of freedom to PPR, CBPP and include in work program for listing by 2016


vii. Continue with preparation of dossier for OIE endorsement of measures for the control of FMD and country FMD status in 2015



viii. Begin implementing the SADC strategy on the control and prevention of PPR as our part of the upcoming global strategy.


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