THE U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) pledged May 25 to step up their existing collaboration to control animal disease, ensure the safety of food from animal origin and promote safe trade.
The two organizations said they would reinforce their partnership in priority areas that include a joint response to animal health crises and programs to prevent and control foot and mouth disease, peste des petits ruminants, African swine fever, rabies, zoonotic influenza and antimicrobial resistance.
In cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO), FAO and OIE said they plan to focus on monitoring the responsible use of antimicrobial and pharmaceutical products and will also work to strengthen national veterinary systems.
Speaking at the World Assembly of Delegates to OIE in Paris, France, FAO director-general Jose Graziano da Silva said animal health is of "paramount importance" to FAO's work to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
"We are committed to tackling high-impact animal diseases together with OIE, WHO and regional and national partners," Graziano da Silva said.
FAO and OIE already work on a number of joint initiatives and have worked together on issues such as the prevention, detection and control of H5N1 avian influenza as well as the global eradication of rinderpest virus in 2011.
"OIE and FAO's long-standing collaboration has proved its efficiency in the prevention and control of numerous animal diseases worldwide," OIE director general Bernard Vallat said. "Our common actions play a key role in the reduction of poverty and hunger. Convinced of the need to pursue this great collaboration and to constantly reinforce its efficiency, OIE and FAO have agreed to reinforce their cooperation arrangement."