The world is free from rinderpest: OIE completed global free status recognition

Resolution 18/2011 recognizes all 198 countries with rinderpest-susceptible animal populations in the world are free of the disease

Paris, 27 May 2011 – The OIE national Delegates used the OIE Rinderpest Pathway to complete the recognition of the last handful of OIE member and non-member countries’ free status, based on a strict control of their epidemiological situation.

Resolution 18/2011, officially recognizing all 198 countries of the world with rinderpest-susceptible animal populations are free of the disease, was unanimously adopted.

Official recognition of Members disease status

The Delegates also approved the new list of countries and zones that had applied for official OIE recognition of their status with respect to the other priority diseases: bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), foot and mouth disease and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP).

With regard to BSE, the OIE newly recognised Denmark and Panama as having a “negligible risk” status, both countries were until now recognised as having a “controlled BSE risk status”.

Japan, Botswana, the Philippines, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay were recognised as being “free of foot and mouth disease, with or without vaccination, for all or a part of their territory”.

Finally, China (People’s Republic of) was recognized as free of CBPP.

Continuously developing, reviewing and updating international standards on animal health, food safety and animal welfare

Within the framework of its annual standard-setting work, the Assembly adopted and/or updated different chapters of the OIE Terrestrial and Aquatic Animal Health Code among which:

  • The recognition pathway for official FMD control programmes implemented by Members;
  •  Inclusion of  some relevant wildlife species in the disease chapters of the Code;
  • The first Code chapter on communication.

At the request of OIE Members key animal health and welfare issues were debated in view of future addition to the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code:

  • All chapters on diseases of bees and; 
  • [A first chapter on animal welfare in broiler chicken production systems];
  • They also addressed the chapter on the canine strain of rabies which is responsible for most of human cases of the disease, so as to give greater consideration to public health concerns in the OIE Code.


A global review of the world animal health situation

The worldwide animal health situation concerning 118 diseases of terrestrial or aquatic animals was examined in detail with OIE Members during the Session.

Outbreaks of foot and mouth disease, avian influenza, rabies, amphibian diseases, African swine fever have topped discussions.

Technical items

Two technical items on key issues of interest for the international community in the field of animal health and welfare were debated during the Session:

  • The contribution of veterinary activities to global food security for food derived from terrestrial animals.

The study showed that veterinarians play a pivotal role in all stages of the food chain namely production, processing, transport, and distribution of products of animal origin, therefore representing major contributors to world food security and safety.

  • Implementation of a global strategy for FMD control.

Discussions led to OIE national Delegates endorsing a global strategy for FMD control that would soon be officially launched.

Resolutions have been discussed and adopted in order to address the concerns to be solved.

The OIE is all about science and capacity building

The Delegates welcomed the North-South or South-South twinning of 38 laboratories within the framework of the OIE’s Twinning Programme. The Programme encourages the exchange of competencies and experience between existing OIE Reference Laboratories and Collaborating Centres, and candidate laboratories in in-transition or developing countries with the ultimate objective to build a veterinary scientific community in developing and in-transition countries, the benefit being better diagnostic of animal diseases and better participation by Members in the standard-setting procedures.

Furthermore in line with OIE’s continuous engagement to support Veterinary Services comply with OIE standards on quality, 102 PVS (Performance of Veterinary Services) independent evaluations made by OIE accredited experts have been implemented worldwide to date, as well as 37 PVS Gap analysis missions and 20 missions supporting the modernisation of legislation.

Other notable events marked the proceedings of the Assembly, including the nomination of Myanmar for the World Veterinary Day Award 2011 for its successful celebration of World Veterinary Day under the theme: “Rabies”. The prize will be presented at the World Veterinary Congress to be held in South Africa in October 2011.

The OIE Gold Medal was given to Dr Barry O’Neil from New Zealand and past President of the OIE Council.

Cooperation agreements aimed at strengthening collaboration on topics of mutual interest were signed during the meeting between the OIE and several other international, regional or private-sector organisations. 

Around 600 participants, representing OIE Members and intergovernmental (FAO, WHO, World Bank, WTO, etc.), regional and national organisations took part in the event. High-ranking authorities including the President of the Republic of Paraguay and numerous Ministers of OIE Members and leaders from international organisations honoured the Assembly with their presence.

The Delegates also accredited 3 new Collaborating Centres and 11 new Reference Laboratories, bringing the number of official centres of scientific excellence within the OIE worldwide network to 263.