New Zealand to host World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Conference

24 October 2007

For the second time since joining the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in 1925, New Zealand will host the OIE Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania conference.

This important international conference, being held in Queenstown on 26-30 November 2007, will provide an update on animal health and welfare issues of national, regional and international significance.

MAF Biosecurity New Zealand Assistant Director General, Dr Barry O’Neil says this is a unique opportunity for New Zealand.

“The conference will focus on regional cooperation in the control of animal diseases and surveillance activities. Key New Zealand scientific, agricultural, veterinary and animal welfare organisations have been invited to attend the conference in an observer capacity and will be able to see first hand the workings of the OIE.

“The conference starts with a regional workshop on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in South East Asia, an issue still of concern as the virus continues to change and impact on bird and human health in different ways.”

The OIE is an intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide. It comprises 170 Member Countries, organised into five Regional Commissions. New Zealand is a member of the Regional Commission for Asia, the Far East and Oceania, which has a total of 31 member countries.

The objectives of the OIE are:

  • To ensure transparency in the global animal disease and zoonosis situation,
  • To collect, analyse and disseminate scientific veterinary information,
  • Within its mandate under the World Trade Organisation- Sanitary and Phytosanitary (WTO SPS) Agreement, to safeguard world trade by publishing health standards for international trade in animals and animal products,
  • To provide a better guarantee of the safety of food of animal origin and to promote animal welfare through a science-based approach,
  • To provide expertise and encourage international solidarity in the control of animal diseases,
  • To improve the legal framework and resources of national veterinary services.

Media contact:

Helen Keyes, Acting Communications Manager
04 894 0161 or 029 894 0161

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