African Countries formulate Continental & National Positions on Terrestrial & Aquatic Animal Health Standards for submission to OIE

Sat, 03-07-2021 15:00:00

Throughout July 2021, AU-IBAR is holding several technical meetings to review proposed national Chapters of the Terrestrial Animal Health Code Commission, Aquatic Animal Health Code Commission, and the Biological Commission. 

The meetings are being held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Yaoundé, Cameroon, from 28 June to 1 July & 5-8 July 2021.  The country meetings will be followed by two online continental conferences on 5 to 7 & 21 to 23 July 2021. 

The scientifically based common positions on the draft Chapters once developed and compiled, will be submitted to the OIE. The facilitation will therefore support African Union Member States to improve coordination and consultations during the development of OIE standards and ensure that that animal health needs and priorities are adequately captured during the development of OIE standards. This mechanism will contribute to safeguarding African country’s interest in international trade in animals and animal products. The national positions developed will form the basis for developing a continental position submitted to the OIE for consideration during the September 2021 Specialist Commissions meeting. 

Since 2009, AU-IBAR has convened technical meetings for animal health experts and continental CVOs meetings to develop comments and African Positions on draft OIE standards. 

As members of the World Trade Organisation (WTC), countries must participate in the establishment of Terrestrial & Aquatic Animal Health International standards. Implementation of science-based animal health and welfare standards is critical for facilitating safe trade in animals and animal products. 

The World Trade Organization is a multilateral trading agreement that provides rules for governing the different aspects of international trade in goods and services. Regarding trade in agricultural products, the WTO Agreement on the application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures is the initial agreement on matters related to animal health, food safety, and plant health. 

The SPS Agreement requires that member countries base their measure on standards developed by OIE, CAC, and the IPPC for animal health, food safety, and plant health, respectively. Participation in the above-mentioned international standard-setting bodies promotes harmonization and integration of trade interest into these standards, thereby facilitating trade.