3rd OIE Global Conference on Animal Welfare

‘Implementing the OIE standards - addressing regional expectations’

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 8 November 2012 – The 3rd OIE Conference on Animal Welfare confirmed the will of Member Countries to promote OIE international standards on animal welfare adopted by 178 countries. Considering the economic, cultural or social differences between countries the organisation is committed to supporting countries, especially developing ones, in the implementation of OIE standards.

In order to efficiently address the different paces of standard implementation, the OIE advocates for regional strategies which have to rely on efficient national Veterinary Services as the key players in establishing appropriate and sustainable legislation and to ensure its efficient implementation and respect.

In her first intervention as OIE Goodwill Ambassador HRH Princess Haya, President of Fédération équestre internationale (FEI) commented: “The OIE approach takes into account the difficulty in implementing its standards at differing speeds in regions and countries that vary greatly.” All participants welcomed this pathway for the correct implementation of animal welfare standards in all countries worldwide.

The organisation pledged to continue providing support to all its Members, particularly through the PVS Pathway and capacity building programmes directed to Veterinary Services as well as the engagement of the organisation’s Regional Representations. Discussions also pointed out the need for more research in animal welfare and for raising the profile of the discipline in initial training of veterinarians globally.

“This third conference is the necessary next step in facilitating the process of implementing animal welfare standards worldwide,” Director General of the OIE, Dr Bernard Vallat, said. “Differences in perception, needs and capacity of our Member Countries stand at the core of the challenge,” he further explained.

Talks on OIE’s successful efforts to coordinate with religious authorities for advancing animal welfare standards were an important highlight. The Conference emphasized that OIE standards are compatible with the requirements of Islamic law given that the humane slaughter of animals is supported in both the Islamic principles and OIE standards.

Opening the event Malaysia’s Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, the Honourable Datuk Seri Noh Bin Omar said: “by hosting this event the government of Malaysia marks its definite support to advancing animal welfare practices and the work of OIE in the field”.

High-Level representatives of OIE Members, including OIE national Delegates and national animal welfare focal points, but also Deans of veterinary education establishments, heads of national animal welfare research institutes, representatives of partner international organisations, lawyers, and representatives of international organisations, non-governmental and farmers’ organisations participated in the event.

The 3rd OIE Global Conference on Animal Welfare was supported by the European Commission and the governments of Malaysia, Australia and Germany.